By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan PM Lobsang Sanagay walks out of the parliament along with his cabinet. March 18, 2017.
DHARAMSHALA, MAR. 18: The Kashag (Cabinet)led by Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay walked out of the proceedings this morning on the fifth day of the ongoing Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE)’s session amid row over the proposed amendments presented by the ‘Electoral Review Committee’.
Sangay and his ministers objected the absence of his cabinet’s proposal to hold only the final election instead of the existing primary as well as the final election in the amendment proposal by the committee. Surprisingly, the ‘Electoral Review Committee’ against which the Tibetan PM led the walkout had Sangay's Finance Minister Karma Yeshi as it's chairman.
The Electoral Review Committee presented recommendations for amendments to be incorporated into the Tibetan electoral rules in the Parliament today. The committee that also includes MPs put forward amendments of over “29 articles in the Tibetan Electoral rules and regulations; 155-point suggestions related to the Tibetan electoral rules and regulations; 73 regarding Tibetan charter,” the exile government run Tibet.net stated in a report published today.
The move to review the Tibetan electoral rules was proposed by the Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay and Kalon Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok last June during the opening session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament following censure from many levels of the civil society within the Tibetan community as well as the international circuits in the aftermath of the 2016 Tibetan general elections by which Sangay won his second term. Subsequently, the legislators resolved to appoint a committee that comprised of Kalon Karma Yeshi, Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur, Tibetan Parliamentarians Pema Jungney, Ven Monlam Tharchin and Gyarik Thar.
Sangay this morning pushed for holding debate on the prospects and benefits of a single general election in place of the existing two-step election process of preliminary and the final rounds which was received poorly by the house resulting in the walk out by the cabinet.
The vote to carry forth the recommendations by the committee for debate was unanimously passed with a majority of 33 votes against 2. Despite the absence of the cabinet and expression of disappointment by few legislators over the act of non participation by the Kashag, the session resumed after a brief halt in the afternoon.
The second session (budgetary session) of the 16th Tibetan Parliament in exile will conclude next week on March 25.