Delegates of global body hail Tibetan parliament elections

March 21st, 2011 - 5:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Dharamsala, Mar 21 (ANI): A delegation of International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT), a global organisation to advance the Tibet issue in governments worldwide, has hailed the election process of the Tibetan government-in- exile in Himachal Pradesh.

The INPaT, as part of a worldwide initiative, deployed a team of experts to conduct a Tibetan election observation mission.

The co-chair of INPaT, Matteo Mecacci, stating that the elections were a move to transform the government-in-exile into a more assertive and democratic body, on Monday urged international communities to support the Tibetan democratic institutions.

“I think these were very open elections, competitive elections. You know that for the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) position, the chief of the administration, there is still an open competition among three countries, very open, which is something they never had before,” Mecacci told reporters here.

“Because before, you know, mainly there was only one candidate, who was supported by everybody but this is not a sign of division, it’s a sign of the implementation of the democratic process in which you have candidates, they compete for position,” he added.

Mecacci further supported Dalai Lama’s desire that Tibetan polity be based on a secular republic.

“For the Tibetan people, its really a revolutionary advancement because as the Dalai Lama reminded the other day. They had the Dalai Lama, they have been having the Dalai Lama with both political and spiritual role since the fifth Dalai Lama and we are at the 14th,” said Mecacci.

“So, it has been centuries since they have this tradition but due to the development of the modern world through which the Dalai Lama interested in. He is proposing to also modernize their political institutional system. So it’s a challenge that as only important, important things in politics, they need to be a challenge. There is no easy solution,” he added.

The International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet first convened in Rome last November, at a meeting addressed by the Dalai Lama, and held its first meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on June 2.

Thousands of Tibetans across the world voted on Sunday to elect the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama, a Nobel peace prize winner, has been both the spiritual and the political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile which he had founded after fleeing to India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

He had on March 10 announced his decision to step down as political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile. (ANI)

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