By Tenzin Monlam
Photo: Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, January 28: The Ngari Chithun Association today announced its decision to extend its support to Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the Tibetan parliament, in the Tibetan prime ministerial elections in March.
The Ngari Chithun Association, which backed Tashi Wangdue in the preliminaries, said its decision was a result of a series of discussion among its members following a formal request from the Utsang Cholka on January 9. Tashi Wangdu won only 1880 votes failing to make it to the final elections on march 20, 2016.
“We hope for a victory but we can never say whom the people choose to vote. We are here to guide the Ngari people and others on why they should vote for Penpa Tsering. This is a request from our end,” said Dr. Thokmey, President of Central Executive, Ngari Chithun Association.
Though Utsang has the highest number of voters the support from Utsang Cholka was not reflected in the results of the preliminary election which was won by more than 20000 votes by the incumbent Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay.
“The associations like Utsang and Ngari might officially support a candidate but the actual voters might not necessarily agree with their decision, unlike in party system politics of other countries,” said Tenzin Dhargay, a Tibetan voter.
The Central Executive members of Ngari Chithun Association categorized the reasons to support Penpa Tsering with three points. “Firstly he has the capability and the will to follow the vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, secondly his political stand of Middle-way and his outstanding work experience in the exile government’s lawmaking body," Dr. Thokmey said.
Interestingly, Dr. Thokmey also informed that had the incumbent Sikyong or his campaign team approached first they might have extended their support to him.
“In democracy, we have to communicate and we need competition. Had Sikyong’s team approached us, we would have had more work and more discussion on whom to support,” said Dr. Thokmey.