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First woman deputy speaker of Tibetan parliament joins race for PM's office

August 7, 2010

By Tenzin Tsering
August 5, 2010

Dharamsala, August 5 -- Ms. Gyari Dolma, Deputy
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, has
announced her candidature in the upcoming 2011 Kalon Tripa election yesterday.

The first woman deputy speaker of the Tibetan
parliament in exile said that issues concerning
Tibetan women being afforded equal opportunities
in politics and the growing awareness of the
upcoming election necessitated her calling the
press conference. The press conference was called
on her personal capacity, she added.

Gyari’s announcement is welcomed by Tibetan women
in exile as it marks the first ever participation
of a Tibetan woman in the election for the seat
of highest executive office in the Tibetan
government in exile. "I welcome her decision as a
phenomenal breakthrough in the political
empowerment of Tibetan women in the exiled
Tibetan polity. Therefore not withstanding the
results, her conviction and assertion will
definitely encourage the enfranchisement of the
Tibetan electorate," said Dhardon Sharling, a Tibetan woman activist.

The Tibetan exile polity has so far seen four
Tibetan women ministers in the Kashag (Tibetan
cabinet) but no woman has ever become the Kalon Tripa or the Prime Minister.

Jetsun Pema, the younger sister of the Dalai
Lama, was the first woman to hold a Kalon’s
office as the Minister for Health in 1990. She
remained in the cabinet till 1993 as the Minster
of Education. Ms. Rinchen Khando became a Kalon
in 1993 and remained in the Kashag till 2001.
Ms.Samkar Yankyi Dashi was a Kalon from 1996-2001.

Currently, Ms. Kesang Y. Takla, Minister of
Information and International Relations, is the
only woman in the incumbent Kashag.

Ms. Gyari Dolma, a member of parliament for the
past 19 years said "Given a chance, I am willing
and enthusiastic to shoulder the responsibility of Kalon Tripa."

She also announced that she will not contest in
the upcoming Tibetan parliamentary elections on completion of her present term.

"If I get through in the preliminary round on
October 3, I will surely campaign more after that," said Ms. Dolma.
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