(TibetanReview.net, Sep05, 2015) – The Election Commission of the exile Tibetan administration at Dharamshala, India, has, for the first time, announced on Sep 3 punitive measures for candidates and others who violate campaign rules for the upcoming Tibetan elections. The penalties include depriving of voting rights for up to 10 years, annulment of candidature, disqualification from standing as candidate, deduction of vote count, and so on.
Carrying out physical intimidation or verbal coercion; circulating false propaganda; libelous conducts; or creating religious, regional, community, etc, strife will lead to the withdrawal of voting rights of the candidates for the next 10 years. The last two violations also lead to the votes won by the candidates in question being annulled.
Also, any candidate who uses his official position as Sikyong, Kalon, or MP for his or her electoral gains will see the votes won by him or her being annulled.
Only NGO’s officially recognized by the exile administration – listed as Utsang Cholka, Dotoe Association, Domey Association, Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement, Ngari Tibetan Association, Association of Former Tibetan political prisoners, Pokhra Lodrik Welfare Association, and Tibetan Chikdril Tsogpa – can endorse candidates or campaign for them. Others can do so only with written approval by the concerned candidates. Those violating this rule will be disqualified from voting.
A candidate will lose 10% percent of his or her votes if he or she fails to submit to the election commission an account of his election expenses which are limited by the relevant rules.
Also, a candidate will lose 5% of his or her votes if he or she uses images of the Dalai Lama, emblems and logos of the exile Tibetan administration, or maps and flags of Tibet.
A candidate will be disqualified from standing for election for any public office for the next five years if his or her Campaign posters and pamphlets fail to specify the names of the individuals who had printed and circulated his or her Campaign posters and pamphlets.
Finally, a candidate or other persons will be disqualified from standing for election as well as lose his or her voting rights for the next five years if the campaign actions violate laws and sensitivities of the host countries.
The penalties were announced by the Chief Election Commissioner Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur, joined by the Additional Election Commissioners Ven. Geshe Tenpa Tashi and Mr Tenzin Choephel at a press conference.