Tibetan parliament passes bills to amend Tibetan electoral process

DHARAMSALA, Sept 29: The Tibetan Parliament in Exile passed bills to amend the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile which includes among others to bar all regional associations, religious sects and NGOs from endorsing candidates for Sikyong(President) and Members of the Parliament.

The amendment bill of the Tibetan Charter’s Clause (VII) of Article 24 on the Rules and Regulations of Electoral System was proposed by MP Serta Tsultrim on the 9th day of the session and it secured the 2/3rd majority vote of the house.

The Tibetan legislatures also passed another bill with a 2/3rd majority of the House to amend clause (iv) Article 67 entitled, ‘Process of Electing Sikyong in the Preliminary and Final Election’ under ‘Rules and Regulation of Electoral System’ introduced to the house by the CTA’s Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi.

The amended bill mandates a Sikyong candidate who secures more than 60% of the votes in the preliminary election to be declared Sikyong elected without having to go through the final election.

Other amendments in the electoral rules includes declaration of at least two Sikyong candidates in the final election by the Election Commission and in the eventuality of there being only one candidate, the lone Sikyong candidate must then secure a minimum of 51% of the votes in the primary election to be declared the winning candidate, failure to which the entire election will be held again.

The sixth session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile concluded yesterday and during the 10-day session from Sept 18-28, apart from discussing the work reports of the seven departments of the CTA, members of the Parliament deliberated on the prevailing critical situation inside Tibet and other issues of concern within the Tibetan community in exile and elected Karma Dadul as the new Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission.

The conclusion of the sixth session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also marks the end of Khenpo Sonam Tenphel’s tenure as the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament. MP Pema Jungney who was voted the joint speaker of 16th TPIE along with MP Khenpo Sonam Tenphel will now chair the Parliament for the remaining part of the term till the eleventh and final session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament.

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