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Exile Tibetan ministers resume parliament attendance after they walked out over election reform difference

Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

(TibetanReview.net, Mar21, 2017) – Ministers of the exile Tibetan administration led by Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on Mar 20 resumed their attendance at the ongoing 3rd session of the 16th Tibetan parliament in exile after having walked out of it on Mar 18 in protest at the rejection of their proposal to include for discussion a suggestion to reduce the number of balloting to just one instead of the current two-stage process in the Tibetan election system. Sangay made his suggestion as the amendment proposal presented to the parliament by the Tibetan Electoral Review Committee did not include the possibility for such an option.

Sangay has said the current duration of the election process at more than seven months was being misused by enemy elements and those who play into their hands to create turmoil in the Tibetan society while undermining the election itself. He expressed determination to preempt the kind of negative campaigning seen during the last election which saw him win a second term as the Sikyong last year.

The parliament had resumed its sitting after a brief disruption despite the Kashag’s walkout led by the Sikyong.

Under the current long-drawn out election system, exile Tibetans have to go to vote twice: a preliminary ballot without an official list of candidates for the purpose of determining the list of candidates for the election and a final ballot to vote for the Sikyong or, as the case may be, the members of parliament, from an official list or set of lists drawn up after the preliminary poll.

The election review committee was chaired by the Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi and had Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur and MPs Pema Jungney, Monlam Tharchin and Gyarik Thar as its other members.

A single-poll election system is for now out of agenda for discussion by the parliament. The main agenda of the current session of the exile Tibetan parliament is to discuss the annual budget of the Central Tibetan Administration and will conclude on Mar 25.

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