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 of money, if an employee choses to resign before completion of a bond they may be shackled with.
But in a Parliament member’s case, it does not spell out any such rules.
While some argue that an elected member, once sworn into Parliament, if he or she wishes to resign before taking office, it should not be with ease that they be let out.
A practice should be initiated today to dissuade such members from putting in their resignation if they so wish because of their political party’s or the electorate’s failure to fulfill some of their wishes.
A refund they suggest of the members for the cost the state bears for conduct of elections for the member.
However, in case of assembly members, any elected representative can be excused of the refund.
The assembly Act states that, if a member remains absent for more than one-fourth of the number of days in a session without permission of the house, their seat would be declared vacant.
Refund apparently was one of the only ways many found satisfactory to deal with a member choosing to resign after a tiring process.
Perhaps they draw this from the letter election commission officials once wrote local leaders, particularly tshogpas and a few gups, who, no sooner than their election, decided to resign from the elected post.
The same cannot be expected of the commission this time, because it has completed its job of certifying all elected members.
That is probably where its role ends.
Jigmi Y Thinley did not submit his resignation to the commission, but much later, a few days before the first sitting of the National Assembly, to the newly elected speaker through the secretary.
Although the DPT president might be resigning for reasons many believe are justified and, therefore, earns legitimacy, what we should be looking at is the future.
This is the first of such a case and it will not be the last.
Not that precedents are heeded in this country, where cases are considered under varying circumstances; however, a procedure spelt out today might perhaps serve as a point of reference in future.