JYT’s resignation creates room for a by-election

The former prime minister and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) President Jigmi Y. Thinley submitted his resignation on July 31. He submitted his resignation through the National Assembly secretary to be addressed by the speaker.

The letter is subject to acceptance by the speaker, who was elected only recently on August 2 during the first NA sitting of the second Parliament.

The NA Act states that if a member wishes to resign from his or her seat when the house is not in session, it should be through the secretary general that the resignation be routed.

“While I’ll be guided by law, there are many concerns. What if the law is not so clear, what happens then?” said newly-elected NA Speaker Jigme Zangpo upon knowledge of the the DPT President’s resignation.

The NA Speaker cited the example of 2008 elections where the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won only two of 47 seats but did not set a precedent for resignation.

What if they had wanted to resign, he asked.

Coming back to the present, if Jigmi Y. Thinley’s resignation is accepted it would mean that the office of a member is vacant and that too much before the expiration of its five-year term.

Under such circumstance a writ for an election would be issued within a month of its occurrence to fill the vacancy. The same laws in the election Act would apply in the case of a by-election, which would apply to the real elections.

The election Act states that the election of a member to fill the vacancy would be held within 90 days from the date of the vacancy. The NA Act states four reasons (resignation, death, disqualification or removal, or expiration of term of office) for a seat to be considered vacant.



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