By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, March 21: The first directly elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan exiles and a former academician has said he did not participate in the 2016 Tibetan prime ministerial elections as the entire election process was moving away from the ideals of a party-less democracy, reported the Times of India on Monday.
“I didn't cast my vote as the exiled government was based on the principles of Swaraj of (Mahatama) Gandhi Ji. It didn't involve competition or opposition. But, nowadays, representatives are involved in opposing each other through their individual campaigns. Therefore, I think, the exiled government is not heading in the right direction,” Rinpoche told TOI.
Saddened by the conduct of the elections, the 77 year old academician said that ‘these elections are not being fought on Tibetan ethics.’
“The next generations of Tibetans, however, must know that the exiled set-up, which was founded in April 1959, was based on the principles of co-operation and not of competition. The practices being adopted by our contenders now are the same as regular political parties. These are not going to benefit in anyway,” Rinpoche said.
With over 90,000 voters registered to vote, this election has arguably broken all records of voter turnout for Tibetan elections.