By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 13: Regionalism that plagued the 2016 Tibetan general Tibetan elections has to be avoided in the next elections, President of the Tibetan exile government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay said at New York city recently.
“If we repeat the same mistakes of 2016 election in 2021 then we are in for trouble and we cannot afford to allow regional discord to threaten our unity,” the Harvard educated Tibetan President said last week at the inaugural session of the 16th North American Tibetan Association (NATA) held in New York on Sept. 8.
The head of the Tibetan polity Dr. Sangay elaborated on the broader premise of unity as the core importance among Tibetans and regionalism that sparked controversies, which peaked during the campaigning period prior to the general elections. Elements of regionalism are same as “working against the Tibetan cause and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice,” CTA run tibet.net qouted the President as saying.
The Sikyong, the official term for the President, was himself a part of the tumultuous elections season and was also criticized for the same. Since winning his second term as the head of CTA, Sangay argued, some say aggressively, in pushing to reform the electoral regulations in the Tibetan Parliament in exile. In March, the cabinet including himself unceremoniously left the proceedings at the in-session parliament when the Kashag’s (Cabinet) motion for only one election instead of the currently practiced primary and final elections, was voted out by the Tibetan legislators.
“Over 7 months time frame of the existing election format provides a platform for parties including China that seek to create disruption within the volatile period of campaigning by candidates and supporters alike,” he later said asserting that his administration is bent on avoiding the election debacle seen during the campaign for his second term as Sikyong in 2016.
The Sikyong who reached back to Dharamshala on Sunday concluded a successful trip to North America meeting prominent politicians and public as well as media persons especially in Mexico where he featured in the cover of the latest Newsweek magazine’s Spanish edition, the only other Tibetan personality to do so after the Dalai Lama whom he succeeded in office as the head of the Tibetan exile administration.