The first democratically elected PM and Cabinet Ministers leave office
The 158th and concluding session of the Lhengye Zhungtshog(Cabinet) was held today at the Tashichhodzong. As the Chairman of the Lhengye Zhungtshog, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley delivered the closing statement followed by statements from Lyonpo Yeshi Zimba and Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk.
Lyonchhen signed a government order relinquishing the office of the Prime Minister. Lyonchhen also made a farewell address on National TV from the Lhengye Zhungtshog hall.
The Cabinet then offered Tashi Moenlam and Gyalpoi Zhabten.
As the Ministers left the Cabinet Hall, Wangchen Gyapai Jaling was played by the Zhung Dratshang. Lyonchhen and the Cabinet Ministers offered Nyen-dhar and lit butter lamps at Dukhang and Kuenra. They were escorted by respective government secretaries from Tashichhodzong, received by heads of departments at the ministry and seen off from their respective offices to their residences.
Later, the Director and officers of the Cabinet Secretariat received and escorted the Chief Advisor, Chief Justice Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye from his residence. Chief Advisor along with six Advisors to the government was then received by the Cabinet Secretary and officers from the Cabinet Secretariat at the Grand Entrance of the Gyalyong Tshogkhang.
Government Secretaries received the Chief Advisor and the Advisors at the courtyard of the Gyalyong Tshogkhang.
The Cabinet Secretary received the Royal Kasho and the Chief Advisor read it out.
The outgoing Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers offered Tashi Khadhar to the Chief Advisor and the Advisors. Outgoing Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley was escorted by the Cabinet Secretary and other senior government officials from the Gyalyong Tshogkhang to residence
Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley gave a farewell statement on 29 April, 2013 reproduced below.
The first National Assembly has been dissolved and the term of the first democratically elected Government has ended. The interim government appointed by His Majesty the King will assume its sacred responsibility today.
The members of the Lhengye Zhungtshog are now leaving office upon having concluded our last cabinet meeting.
With this the first five years or the first defining stage (duerim dangpa) of the democracy has been completed.
Many felt it is the most important and critical stage that will set the course for a unique Bhutanese democracy – that it is a path blazing, and precedent setting role for the first elected government.
You the people have given us this unique and historic honor. You have placed your trust in us and we have served for five years.
With His Majesty’s guidance, the protection of our guardians, and in keeping with the Constitution, we have endeavored with sincerity and loyalty – mindful of the responsibility of establishing a democratic tradition.
We have strived to strengthen every element of our nationhood – the Tsawa Sum.All the while, the vast majority of you have inspired and motivated us – and our will to serve remained strong and unswerving despite many challenges.
As we relinquish the privileges that you the people have given us; that the DPT has thrust upon us, our only wish is that we have not failed you, that we have served you well.We know that we will soon receive your verdict. Whatever your verdict may be, the DPT and all its members will accept it with deep respect and will always be indebted to you the people for the honor and privilege you gave us for the first five years of democracy.
We now enter the election period. Let us do so fully mindful of our responsibility and the importance of the outcome for each of us and the well being of the entire nation. Let us perform our sacred duty, conscious that the outcome of the elections will matter beyond the coming 5 years – that the next stage is no less important than the first.Although large sections of our people are not educated, I know that all our people are wise and that they care for their family, village and country – and for our shared future. They will vote wisely.
For this reason, the task of the parties and politicians is not difficult – it is simple and easy. Our duty as politicians is simply to go and tell our story and leave the people to make their choice. We need to respect them,.
By July, the National Assembly will be elected and the second democratically elected government will be formed. Who ever come to Parliament, whichever party receives the honor to serve, let us, with body, mind and speech be prepared to welcome it with joy and confidence knowing that it is the result of the collective wisdom of our people.
Having performed our scared duty, we as citizens, as voters, we must then go back to our peaceful, harmonious and happy life, confident that our new government will serve us well.
My only worry is the monsoon amid which the elections will be held. The rain, the new dirt roads, old vehicles and new drivers give cause for us to be extremely cautious. Please be careful.
On behalf of the family of Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, and members of the outgoing Cabinet, I offer our deepest gratitude to His Majesty the King for his guidance; to His Holiness the Je Khenpo, the Dratshang, Chodeys, Gomdeys and Anim Gombas for their prayers; to the civil servants, the State owned corporate employees and the local government leaders for their immense contributions to making the DPT government program successful; to our security forces for performing their sacred duty selflessly; to the business community for their contributions; and all the fellow citizens for their trust and inspiration.
May each step we take lead us to further peace, prosperity and happiness. May the land of Palden Drukpa flourish in eternity.