NA speaker says he would have to study the reasons for resignation to accept it
NA: The former prime minister and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa president Jigmi Y Thinley has submitted his resignation.
Since the speaker had not yet been elected then, Jigmi Y Thinley had put in his resignation on July 31 through the National Assembly secretary to the speaker.
A provision in the National Assembly Act states that should a member wish to resign his or her seat when the house is not in session, it should be to the secretary general that the resignation is addressed.
Jigmi Y Thinley wished not to specify the reasons for his decision, which he feared would only be subject to more nitpicking over tiny details and subsequent germination of speculations from certain sections of the public.
The letter is, however, subject to acceptance by the speaker, who was elected on August 2 during the first sitting of the second Parliament.
Recently elected speaker Jigme Zangpo said he would look at the resignation letter today, the day he formally takes office and carefully study the reasons for the member’s application for resignation.
“While I’ll be guided by law, there are many concerns,” he said. “What if the law is not so clear, what happens then?”
National Assembly Act lays down four reasons –resignation, death, disqualification or removal, or expiration of term of office – for an elected member’s seat to be considered vacant.
Apart from that, a member’s seat would also be declared vacant if he or she remains absent for more than one-fourth of the number of days in the session without the assembly’s permission.
One of the concerns on his mind, Jigme Zangpo said was the precedent such actions today would set.
“We’ll have to see because if a candidate wins but the party it represents loses and if he or she wishes to resign and we allow it, what precedent will that set?” he said. “It makes me think of the 2008 case when there were only two member opposition, what if they wanted to resign.”
The resignation, should it be accepted, would mean that the office of a member is vacant much before the expiration of its five-year term, under which circumstance a writ for an election, National Assembly Act stipulates, to fill the vacancy would be issued within a month of its occurrence.
The same rules and laws prescribed in the election Act would apply in the case of bye-election, as it would apply to the real elections.
The election of a member to fill the vacancy, election Act states would be held within 90 days from the date of the vacancy’s occurrence.
By Samten Wangchuk