The Tibetan Election Commission in Dharamsala has announced on July 29, 2005 the election process for the new Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD, Tibetan Parliament) and the post of the chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet (virtually the Prime Minister).
The primary elections (to nominate candidates) for the members of the Tibetan Parliament will be held on September 11, 2005 and for the Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet on December 22, 2005. The general elections for the Chairman of the Kashag and the Parliament will be on March 18, 2006.
Currently, the Tibetans in exile are undergoing voter registration.
The following information about the Tibetan Election Commission is from www.tibet.net.
The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration is a two-tier body. The Central Election Commission is the apex body with 65 local election commissions under it in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Europe, North America, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.
The Election Commission organizes and oversees the election of the ATPD members, the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the ATPD, Head of the settlements and their assistants and members of the regional Tibetan Freedom Movements and their presidents. If the Central Tibetan Administration decides to seek the people’s opinion on matter of national importance, it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to conduct referendums towards the effect.
The election commissioner is appointed directly by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan Parliament has 46 members. The three provinces of Tibet elect ten members each, including two women. Tibet’s five major religious sects elect two members each. Tibetans in Europe elect two members and those in North America get one. In addition, His Holiness the Dalai Lama nominates three members. There are several clauses for the election of the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the ATPD. The ATPD members are elected through two rounds of voting, preliminary and final.
Chapter Six of the Tibetan Election rules and regulations deals with the procedure for electing the Chairman of the Kashag. It says that the Kashag Chairperson shall be elected by the exile population not below the age of 18. This election shall be held without provincial, gender or sectarian discriminations. The person winning the largest number of votes in the final round, it says, will be declared elected as Kashag Chairperson by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The first ever election for the Executive Chief was held on August 20, 2001.