By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Apr. 8: Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Pema Jungney has resigned from the Speakership and as a parliamentarian of the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE), on moral grounds on Thursday.
Jugney announced his resignation through his personal Facebook account this morning. The resignation comes after the uproar caused by the parliament’s removal of the Chief Justice and two Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC) last month.
On March 25, during the budgetary session, 41 MPs in attendance voted to a 31-10 majority to oust Chief Justice Commissioner Sonam Norbu Dagpo, Justice Commissioner Karma Damdul, and Justice Commissioner Tenzin Lungtok. The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Pema Jungney who spearheaded the move, at the time said it was necessitated to protect the charter.
On Wednesday, former Speaker and Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche in an interview with Voice of Tibet said that even though the parliament has the authority to impeach judges, it cannot impeach all three judges together, rendering the judiciary ineffective.
Fellow MP and member of the parliament’s standing committee Lobsang Choejor also resigned from the parliament on Thursday citing his role in the impeachment of the three judges. “After hearing Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche’s explanation of the relevant articles in the charter, it is clear that my interpretation of the article is wrong.
“Therefore, I tender my resignation from the standing committee as well as the 16th TPiE and apologize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche and the Tibetan people,” he told reporters earlier today.
With the resignation of the Speaker and a member of the parliament’s standing committee, questions loom as to how the proceedings that require amendments in the charter for the appointment of new judges will proceed during the additional parliamentary session next month.