CDG unconstitutional

Yesterday, I called on our Minister of Finance. I met him to personally explain why the opposition feels that the Constituency Grant (CDG) is unconstitutional. In particular, I advised him that the CDG may violate the following provisions of our constitution.

Article 1.13: There shall be separation of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and no encroachment of each other’s powers is permissible except to the extent provided for by this Constitution.

The CDG, as proposed, require MPs (members of the legislature) to be involved in proposing, approving and monitoring projects in the gewogs. That is, the legislature will be carrying out executive functions. And this is unconstitutional.

Article 10.2: Parliament shall ensure that the Government safeguards the interests of the nation and fulfils the aspirations of the people through public review of policies and issues, Bills and other legislations, and scrutiny of State functions.

The CDG would require Members of Parliament to handle executive powers and responsibilities that go beyond the functions of the Parliament as described in this article.

Article 20.2: The Executive Power shall be vested in the Lhengye Zhungtshog which shall consist of the Ministers headed by the Prime Minister …

The CDG allows MPs to exercise executive powers thereby infringing on the powers of the Cabinet.

Article 22.1: Power and authority shall be decentralilzed and devolved to elected Local Governments to facilitate the direct participation of the people in the development and management of their own social, economic and environmental well-being.

The CDG provides MPs with considerable authority over funds meant for the development of gewogs. So the CDG infringes on the powers of the Local Governments. And it undermines the Local Governments.

Based on these arguments, I’m hopeful that our government will reconsider its approval of the CDG, and allow local governments full power and authority over these funds.

 

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  1. Lampenda Chuup says:

    Put this way, it is clear for everyone to see that the MPs have no business deciding what needs to be done with what seems like the local government’s budget.

    The way it is sanctioned now there is no decentralization of authority. The MPs really have no business handling money. Their job is indeed legislation wherein they ensure that the needs of their constituencies are addressed without bias.

    We have many instances of violation of the constitution. But the question remains “Who safeguards the constitution of Bhutan??? Anybody?? We still don’t have a Supreme Court. And the cabinet overrides a National Council decision – what is this, really?

    • Article 21.18 (on the Judiciary) states that “Every person has the right to approach the courts in matters arising out of the Constitution or other laws…” So we, the people of Bhutan, don’t need to wait for the Supreme Court.

      Bottom line, Lampenda Chuup (i love your name!) is that it’s up to us. Up to you. And I. And every citizen interested in keeping our democracy honest.

  2. Thats great!!! so many unconstitutional decisions! our kings have given us the precious gift and now the absolute DPT power has all these in place, people wake up and prepare for the next elections, repeat no mistakes , now we understand the importance of OPPOSITION PARTY!!! As for now except all these unconstitutional moves with pinch of salt! May God Bless us!!!

  3. OL, since you seem to have an opinion on everything, and has become a self-appointed legal expert, what is your take on the Jemina case? In your opinion, who is correct – ACC or high court? Both cannot be right.

    • Deo what is your intention of asking OL’s opinion on the jemina case? Don’t overburden our OL, He is precious to us “the Bhutanese” at this time of abosulute power being misused by the DPT. Rather ask for alternatives on how to tackle this all-knowing hypocrite the PM……

  4. “Power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please”.
    – B.H. Obama

  5. Linda Wangmo says:

    Dear Deo

    This is in reply to your comments on the OLs Blog. Yes the ACC although set up by our fourth King is now being the puppet of the Government.

    ACC has all the right in the Bjeminia mining case and for the good of the Envorinement, ACC has all the right to stop the work, But my comment here is where is the Dranam and Drangdem of our Government. IS ACC just acting on cases submitted by the Government.

    Forget about all the other mining Quarry in Bhutan, lets just talk about minings in Thimphu. There are three main mining quarries in Thimphu, Singye, Bhutan stone Aggrates and Kuenphen Norden mining all at Khasadrapchu.

    I dont who owns the Bhutan stone aggrates but the Kunphen mining is owned by Mr. Kunzang Gyeltshen, an Hard core DPT supporter so Deo I guess you see my point. Why should one mining be closed while one is still working.

  6. Dear OL,
    Great going. Please keep on fighting since I too believe that what the DPT government is doing is wrong and unconstitutional.

    From what the DPT has been doing in the past one year of their taking charge of the government, it is clear that we made a mistake in voting them to power. It is sad that the Opposition does not have much voice in the Parliament .. but please know that every credible issue you raise and object to .. you will come so much closer to winning our support in the next round. For now, even if you cannot win due to your absolute minority in the Parliament .. raising important issues is good enough. You have our support on this issue.

  7. The only problem dear friends, is that our voters are not the ones who visits OL’s blog and they are the ones who know what is really hurting them or helping them. So we can point our ten fingers at every one but ourself and take gratification that no one is pointing fingers at the invicible writers like us on this blog.

    • u are right but we can take part in this blog and inform our voters

    • Deo, you are right. And that’s the problem.

      We, the educated lot, the fortunate few, must stay in touch with our people. That way, we will also understand “what is really hurting them or helping them”. The “them” you speak of is our villagers, most of them poor farmers. But most importantly, they are our brother and sisters, our fathers and mothers, cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. We may have gone to school. We may live in Thimphu. But we must not forget where we really come from: our villages.

      If you’ve connected with your relatives back home. And you can represent them. You must. Even anonymously. And even on this blog. Other readers will see your passion. The fire burning within you. And you can affect important policy. Even anonymously.

      But is you want to play a more direct role: write to me, or call me. Better yet, let’s meet.

  8. Your Excellency,
    I think DEO asked a very simple question: Who according to you is right in jimina case? High court or ACC? Why is it so difficult for you to answer. Please give us the answer so that common people like me can know your opinion.
    I thank you very kindly.

    • Sonam: I didn’t reply to Deo because I thought the answer was straight forward. Since you’ve raised the same question, I’ll write a separate entry on it …. okay? Later today perhaps … i’ve already promised my wife to do some household chores today.

  9. We the people of Bhutan should demonstrate on the issue of CDG.

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