Working with NC

The prime minister, in his State of the Nation address, on differences between the National Council and National Assembly:

Already several issues have arisen between the National Council and this House which inevitably raised the question of seeking the guidance of the Supreme Court even before it was established. Now with its establishment, the wisdom of the judiciary too will be tested if indeed constitutional issues are brought before it.

My hope is that, through the ongoing dialogue between the two houses, these issues will be resolved without judicial intervention.

Very good.

Now prove that there’s some genuine commitment to resolve the many outstanding issues that the government and the National Assembly have with the National Council. Initiate that “ongoing dialogue”. And if differences can’t be resolved, seek the judiciary’s assistance. Major disagreements that need immediate attention are:

  1. Constituency Development Grant. The government has completely ignored the National Council’s repeated assertions that the CDG is unconstitutional.
  2. Question Time: Ministers have once again stopped attending the National Council’s Question Time.
  3. Budget appropriation. The National Council’s role in approving money and financial bills, especially in passing the budget, is still unresolved.
  4. NC resolutions. The government has not responded to any of the National Council’s resolutions. And during the current session, the National Council has made strong observations on the  economic development and FDI policies.

 

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  1. I feel NC deliberating on Annual Budget is incorrect because it enforces accountability in regard to developmental issues, which is not their mandate but that of National Assembly the House that formed the Government. Besides legislation NC is review body and review can be done only if oneself in not involved in the issues that needs to be reviewed (out here I mean development activities approved in the Annual Budget)

  2. Quite right. If NCs meddles in the affairs of the National Assembly, it loses it’s sacred responsibility as the house of review, which is enshrined in the Constitution.

    As far as I know, NCs are a power hungry lot who is bent on expanding their role, beyond those permitted by the law. The case in point is their persistent demand for the Ministers to appear for Q & A session in their House.

    Recently, I have been told that NCs are now demanding the annual budget to be sent to their House for approval, which is against the Constitution and the principles of democracy. NCs cannot and should not have the power to approve the annual budget, which is an exclusive domain of the National Assembly – the House that forms the Executive. If the budget is not approved, the consequences is devastating, including the possibility of dissolving the government itself. I think the power to dissolve the government is vested in the National Assembly and not with the National Council. However, regrettably, NCs are increasingly poking their nose into executive affairs and that of the National Assembly, which clearly constitutes role expansion.

    In addition, NCs pretend to be unaware of their functions and responsibilities, as they go on a rampage of interfering in the NA members’ responsibilities. For e.g. developmental activities in constituencies are the Campaign pledges of the NA members and not that of the NC. So, I don’t see the role of NCs in either monitoring or overseeing the implementation of developmental activities. Yet, we see NCs raising developmental issues time and again in their session.

    It is time for NC’s to consolidate its functions and responsibilities before they lose the confidence of the people.

  3. This DPT government has breached our Constitution several times in the recent past. According to Article 15.11 of Constitution of Kingdom of Bhutan, the DPT government is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and therefore it is not a LEGALLY JUSTIFIED GOVERNMENT of Bhutan.However, only the Supreme Court can declare it so.
    If the Supreme Court declares what the DPT government did were in violation of our sacred Constitution and the Supreme Law of the Land,the implications are very huge:
    1.The government can not stand.It must be dissolved. Re-election must be held.
    2.All the laws enacted and all the bills passed by the DPT government since they passed the unconstitutional bills will be null and void.This also means they will have to repay all the money spent since then because they did not spent the money of the Kingdom of Bhutan according to its Constitution.
    3.This also means some people in the DPT government will end their lives in jail for corruption because once the Supreme Court declares so, the ACC will sue the DPT government for openly misusing our country’s money. This is a case of blatant open corruption in our country.

  4. Well for this term it has been the DPT who having had occupied the 45 seats of the 47 is aggressively taking forward its political ventures despite being UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I would agree that what has remained to be resolved and referred to the supreme court have all been already initiated forcefully. The CDG which had been submitted to His Majesty has received no orders yet it is implemented and the MP’s are making full use of it and spending them so lavishly just by assuring them of votes in 2013. The MP’s soilra to people are also debited to CDG, is it constitutional?. Anyway, I think many factors have failed people to justify this time but certainly it would be the next round that PM’s luring speeches would receive stones not votes.

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