Quorum Quandary: Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Postpones 6th Session

DHARAMSALA, 28 Sept: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPIE) announced that it had postponed its 6th session due to a lack of quorum. “In accordance with Article 49, Clause 2 of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, the 6th session of the 17th TPIE stands postponed owing to the lack of quorum,” read a statement issued by the Parliamentary Secretariat on Thursday.

The statement further said that to continue the session scheduled from the 19th to the 28th of September, which was adjourned on the 22nd of September, the MPs will be informed to continue the session once the Secretariat can confirm the time. 

Article 49, Clause 2 of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile states that “in case a meeting of the Tibetan Parliament had to be adjourned for more than seven days due to the absence of the requisite quorum for the purpose, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker shall together take a decision to adjourn the meeting.” 

The 6th Session of the 17th TPIE had to be adjourned midway on the 22nd of September. Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel announced the adjournment, stating, “Today was slated to be the fourth day of the ongoing session. However, some members informed me earlier today that they wouldn’t participate in the proceedings until the Security Department of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) clarified a specific matter.”

According to Article 49 of the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, a minimum of two-thirds of the total lawmakers must be present for the house to proceed. Only 24 lawmakers (excluding the Speaker) attended the session, falling short of the required quorum on the 22nd of September. 

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile consists of 45 members: ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod, and Do-med—the three traditional provinces of Tibet; two members each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith; two members each from Europe and North America; and a member representing Tibetans in Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal, and Bhutan). 

The TPIE holds sessions twice a year, with a budget session in March and a general session in September.

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