By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 13: The first session of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) that went on for two days concluded on Tuesday after four months of internal rift that prevented two consecutive sessions.
The Kashag’s attempt to secure seats for the remaining members of the cabinet was stalled as 19 MPs staged a walk-out protest for Kalon nomination, Utsang MP Ngodup Dorjee, citing incompetence. Two other nominees for ministership, former Kalon Thupten Lungrik and TCV Director Tsultrim Dorjee, failed to secure 50% votes of approval by the parliament.
The CTA President Penpa Tsering withdrew his remaining nominations until the next session, and urged the parliamentarians to respect the proceedings of the house next time. “It is of utmost importance that we go through with the full proceedings as per the charter. If the parliament is rendered powerless at the behest of any group, how will we get on with our executive duties?” Sikyong Penpa Tsering said in his remarks.
The two-day session saw the approval of Kasur Gyari Dolma (30 votes), former school Principal Tharlam Dolma (27), and TCHRD researcher Norzin Dolma (27) by the parliament. Various issues regarding the legitimacy of the Tibetan justices, amendment to the Charter on rules and regulations concerning the nomination of Chief justices were also brought up, but the parliament decided against any deliberation as long as the current justice commissioners continued to hold office.
The house also passed a resolution to thank His Holiness the Dalai Lama and also express remorse for the deadlock that prevented the house to convene to consecutive sessions. The resolution comes after a letter by the octogenarian Tibetan leader expressing “disappointment” over the incident.
The Speaker Sonam Tenphel in his concluding remarks thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his recommendation which brought an end to the four-month deadlock.
The Speaker also congratulated the three women cabinet members and also assured Kashag led by President Penpa Tsering full support and cooperation from the Tibetan parliament in all its future endeavors and similarly, urged the parliamentarians to support the respective Kashag, as stated in the official resolution of the parliament. He also announced that the next parliament session is likely to be scheduled in March 2022.