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Exiled Tibetans Play Active Role in Upcoming Elections

July 5, 2010

YC. Dhardhowa,
The Tibet Post International
July 3, 2010

Dharamshala -- At a press conference in
Dharamshala on Saturday, Ven Yeshi Phuntsok, the
president of the Ngari Chithun Association,
announced its candidates in the upcoming
elections for the next Tibetan Prime Minister and
the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament.

The association namely announced five candidates
for the next Tibetan prime minister and 27
candidates for members of the Tibetan Parliament
in-exile. The top candidates were selected at the
association's 17th national convention held in
June, after being chosen by the current and
former members of the organization and its regional bodies.

"We have decided to announce the candidates
without requiring them a pre-condition of our
organization, like, ask them to fill forms and
force them (candidates) to sign, but its done by
sincerely " said, Yeshi Phuntsok.

Various NGOs including Women's Association,
National Democratic Party of Tibet, and
organizations of the three traditional province
in-exile are organizing different initiatives to
select better candidates in the upcoming elections.

Just a week ago, at a press conference held in
Dharamshala, Ms. Dolma Tsering, the president of
the Utsang province organization, announced the
province's three candidates for prime minister
and its 20 candidates for members of parliament
in a different way. "All announced candidates for
members of parliament have been asked to sign to
two pre-conditions," says Tsering. The
organization's pre-conditions are a candidate
must support the middle-way approach of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, must not stand on Tibet
independent ideology and also must be loyal to his own provential organisation.

People are confused by the candidates who signed
the organization's pre-conditions that strongly
require that they "must not stand on Tibet
independent ideology" because four of the 20
candidates are involved in high level positions
in the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest
Tibetan NGO who has been, and currently is, fighting for Tibet independence.

A website called "The Prime Minister"
(Kalontripa), a private initiative searching for
the next Tibetan prime minister, has published 20
nominees for the next Tibetan Prime minister
Election, most of them of the younger generation.

Many Tibetans raised questions regarding the
candidates for the next Tibetan prime minister,
as the candidates' names had been published on a
website. The Tibetan election commissioner
clarified in June that this website is an
independent volunteer initiative. Indeed, the
website was "not launched by [the] Tibetan
government and selection of its candidates are
also not official initiative, but those who will
elected by people in March this year will be official."

"Please note that the website is a
private initiative and should not be mistaken for
the official Tibetan Election Commission
process," Thupen Samdup said in a recently-issued announcement.

Samdup clarified, saying that "since [his]
appointment as the Representative of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe and the Baltic
States, the Kalon Tripa project and website is
being managed and maintained by a group of volunteers in India and Canada."
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