By Lobsang Wangyal
MCLEOD GANJ, India, 29 September 2020
The Tibetan Election Commission ordered all the Regional Election Commissions to follow the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission (TSJC) order revoking voting rights for 11 members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
In a notice to all the regional chapters of the Election Commission, and including copies of the 13-page Supreme Justice order, the EC has asked all the regional chapters to follow the order.
The TSJC, taking cognizance of the Tibetan Parliament’s decision to postpone the 10th session till March next year, found that the decision was in violation of Article 40 of the exile Tibetan Charter which requires the Parliament to be in session every six months.
Citing the Coronavirus pandemic affecting the whole world, the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Parliament on 13 August announced the postponement of the 10 session till March, effectively cancelling the 10th session, as the 11th session will be held then.
The Parliament had rejected the TSJC’s order, saying the TSJC stepped out of its power by issuing such an order. Citing Article 58 of the Charter, Parliament stated that it doesn’t fall under the scrutiny of the TSJC.
The 11 MPs affected by the order are:
- Pema Jungney – Speaker
- Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok – Deputy Speaker
- Khenpo Sonam Tenphel – Nyingma representative
- Tenpa Yarphel – Kagyu representative
- Katrak Ngodup – Sakya representative
- Gowo Lobsang Phendey – Geluk representative
- Monlam Tharchin – Bon representative
- Serta Tsultrim – Dotoe representative
- Ngawang Tharpa – Dotoe representative
- Lobsang Choejor – Domey representative
- Dhondup Tashi – Domey representative
The voting rights of the 11 MPs have been revoked until 11 March, which makes them unable to participate in the preliminary round of voting on 3 January to nominate candidates for the final round. However, they will be able to vote in the final round on 11 April.
Tibet Sun has learned that Speaker Pema Jungney was in favour of accepting the court’s order, but was overruled after six members of the 11 came forward to reject the order.
The six who rejected the order were said to be members from Kham region, and religious representatives also have Kham background.