Rift between secretaries and ministers goes public

The silent power tussle in Bhutan finally comes out into public.
The silent power tussle in Bhutan finally comes out into public.

The rift between the top level bureaucrats and the political leaders in Bhutan has reached a climax with each other initiating action against other.

The Tobgay cabinet has dismantled the Committee of Secretaries (CoS), the power agency under the cabinet to oversee the execution the government decisions, on Friday (12 December).

The cabinet also dismissed secretaries of the Cabinet Secretary (Penden Wangchuk), Foreign Ministry (Yeshey Dorji) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (Sonam Tshering) effective from today.

The CoS, whose membership comprise of all the government secretaries and the cabinet secretary, functioned independently without direct interference of the cabinet.

The cabinet alleged that the CoS conducted business without informing or consulting Ministers or Prime Minister whereby it exceeded the mandate and acted outside the terms of reference.

The cabinet also alleged the secretaries breached the provisions of Civil Service Act and Rules government the code of conduct of senior civil servants.

The CoS had decided to seek intervention of Indian government, without the notice of the Bhutanese ministers or Prime Minister, in a case of corruption allegation by ENERTIA against the secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Sonam Tshering.

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