Monday, July 28th, 2014 - 2:16 PM

A trail-blazing by-election

So, holding a by-election is not like holding just another election, after all, as many people thought and still deem it to be a fairly simple process. While it is not known what issues and concerns the relevant constitutional bodies, like the election commission, are considering, but the decision that will be reached today will be looked at as a precedent. Within the first five years of the country’s transition to an electoral process of picking qualified representatives to Parliament, the country has been on [... Read More]

Wildlife – The bane of farming

Most people, particularly those living in the interiors, would agree that a lot has changed in the past decade. With cellular connectivity, it is now possible to call anyone from the village.  It is now possible to hitch a ride, instead of having to walk for hours to the village.  And thousands of rural homes have access to electricity, taking living standards to another level. But one aspect that has become more intense in rural Bhutan is human-wildlife conflict. As one eastern farmer recently said, [... Read More]

The mob mentality

Well, we are used to hearing Bhutanese spectators, comforted by the refuge the crowd provides, often name-calling and identifying players on the field with their physical imperfections. Players on the football field would rather be anything but bald, or dark complexioned, two stark attributes that Bhutanese cannot not refrain from bursting out with lurid remarks. That becomes worse, as evident from the many matches of the King’s Cup that ended yesterday, when the match up is between a local team and that of another nation’s. [... Read More]

There’s no gettin’ away

During the recent election campaign, a few foreign journalists, who were in the country to follow the elections, asked whether the political parties were campaigning on Gross National Happiness (GNH). For western journalists, this was a natural question to ask, because Bhutan was known for and synonymous with the concept of GNH, which proposes a more holistic approach to development than the existing economic paradigm that has the globe by the hip. It was also only natural for the visitors to expect political parties to [... Read More]

The proprieties of resignation

Druk  Phuensum Tshogpa president’s wish to resign from the Parliament has generated much discourse among the public. While there is no question of disallowing him from his choice to resign, should he be allowed, what procedures should be made so it could serve as a standard for similar cases in future? Like in any organisation, government or corporate, if employees put in their resignation, there are certain rules penned down for it to follow and formalities to fulfill. For instance, having to refund certain amount [... Read More]

The flaws in the laws

What the verdict on the Gyalpoizhing land case showed was that Anti-Corruption Commission can prosecute cases it investigates. A precedent has been set. As some legal experts pointed out, what the verdicts of the case also showed was that the provisions of a law drawn from the Constitution prevail over those of the Constitution itself, the country’s supreme law. Although the anti-corruption Act endows the commission with the power to prosecute the very cases it investigates, the Constitution specifically delineates the specific roles among constitutional [... Read More]

Getting in the groove

It’s been more than three weeks since the second general elections that elected PDP to form the new government. The ministers and speaker of the house have been chosen, the cabinet formed and at least one cabinet decision taken so far – to put an end to the once a week, later once a month, pedestrian day initiative of the previous government. What next?  What is the government or zhung up to?  By now, the new cabinet must have gotten used to the new robes [... Read More]

The burden of a troubled border

That the situation in the two Indian states of Assam and West Bengal, bordering the southern foothills, is likely to get more disruptive is not good news for Bhutan. At a time, when it looked like things had calmed down to a quite an extent, the mood to agitate and disrupt normal life in the two bordering states has been sparked again by the Indian government agreeing to the creation of the Republic’s 29th state, Telangana. As soon as word was out last week that [... Read More]

Scrutiny begins at home

Gathering during the weekends around the capital city was all about the conducts of new ministers. Some were said to have already begun bossing around, others were trying to loosen up some of the disciplines and office decorum, while a few have begun looking up trips abroad. It seems civil servants have already begun putting their leaders under the radar. Personal attributes aside, it apparently seems the party has itself drawn up some code that sends stern warnings to ministers, to be wary of losing [... Read More]

We are family

With the election of National Assembly speaker and deputy speaker by the members who donned on their new kabney, the house is complete. This indicates the need for the members to put aside all differences, whatever happened in the lead up to the day and forge on to do what they were elected to. If it is truly the feeling for the country and its people that the members, including those of the opposition ones partook in this election, the country needs them to hold [... Read More]

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