Democratic system of government is regarded as the most effective system of governance in most parts of the world, ensuring inalienable rights to exercise freedom by the people it governs. In the case of Tibet, ancient Tibetan kings with their spiritual and political power used to convene annual winter & summer sessions to facilitate wider discussions on major policy issues, thus Tibet had a certain historical base of modern democracy. In 1642 the great 5th Dalai Lama founded the Gadhen Podhrang Government of Tibet with compassion and altruism as the basis of governance and successive Dalai Lamas made efforts to develop a happy and spiritually oriented society. However, lack of proper education amongst the public became major hindrance for further development of the Tibetan society.The 13th Dalai Lama had better knowledge of the world at large and he introduced a number of reforms to modernize Tibet, but he encountered problems and did not live long to push his reforms further. Then when the formal recognition of His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama was completed, he was still a minor when the political situation in Tibet deteriorated with imminent threat of Chinese invasion as Chamdo the capital of Kham had already been occupied by the advancing Chinese forces. In the face of such an alarming situation, Tibetans from all walks of life requested His Holiness to assume the political and spiritual leadership of Tibet which His Holiness accepted at the age of sixteen and immediately initiated measures to calm down the Chinese threat. However, no positive response from the Chinese leadership and situation continue to deteriorate which ultimately led to the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising. Democratization: Since the political situation in Lhasa was turning to a point of no return to normal, all His Holiness’ conciliatory efforts exhausted and had no alternatives than to flee to India. Accordingly, in the beginning of 1960 His Holiness addressed a big gathering of Tibetans in Bodh Gaya and asked them to elect their representatives through universal adult suffrage. Then with whatever little knowledge the Tibetan people on modern democracy, Tibetans in exile went to the polls and on September 2nd 1960 the first democratically elected Tibetan Parliamentarians took their solemn oath from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Thereafter, His Holiness circulated a draft democratic constitution for future Tibet to garner opinions and from Tibetan public in exile. Subsequently, the draft was discussed by the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies – present Tibetan Parliament in Exile-TPiE was known at that time. After incorporating necessary opinions, His Holiness on March 10th 1963, promulgated the first Constitution for Future Tibet. As per provisions in the Constitution, His Holiness initiated a number reforms in the composition of Parliamentarians and electoral process to enhance grass root level participation by the Tibetan public in the governance of their Administration in exile the Central Tibetan Administration – CTA. From 1991 onwards TPiE became the Legislative Organ of CTA, while Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission is the Judiciary Organ and the Kashag, Executive Organ said to be Three Pillars of Democracy. TPiE began to pass laws for the Tibetans in exile and the Charter for Tibetans in Exile is one of the first important legal document passed by the Parliament and approved by His Holiness on May 16th 1991 The Charter among others, provides creation of three Autonomous bodies of CTA and Election Commission is one of them.
If the leaders are selected through elections, it would be a matter of real pride. But to hold power at the barrel of the gun rather than through elections is immoral and outdated as well. So the system of one-man rule is not good. -His Holiness the Dalai Lama's remark on Retirement, March 19, 2011