Preliminary Assembly Polls Witness Record Voter Turn Out
Monday, 12 September 2005, 12:30
Dharamshala: In what is viewed as the largest voter turnover yet, the exiled Tibetans across the globe yesterday went to the preliminary polls of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies.
|Preliminary polls attract record number of voters (Photo: Tenzin Choejor)|
From the teenagers to the octogenarians, Tibetans came in droves to cast their ballots in the primaries to nominate candidates for their highest legislative organ.
Across India, Nepal and Bhutan, elections were conducted by the 53 Local Election Commissions, apart from those in Europe and North America.
Election campaigns, from the good old posters and hoardings to the modern day spams and SMS, in the run up to the primaries have never been waged more rigorously and with novelty.
Many believe that the growing active participation of the youth in the political processes has injected new life and vigour in the exile elections.
Voter registration last month in India, Nepal and Bhutan saw a 15% increase from the last registered 65,321 in the year 2001.
“The massive participation of youth is the highlight of this election”, notes one voter, Dhamchoe Thokme, 34.
In addition to more than usual number of candidates fielded by various fraternities, there has been a boom in the number of independent candidates, especially from the young.
“There is a growing realisation among the Tibetan youth that in light of the urgency in the cause of Tibet, they need to be more actively involved in the political processes”, adds Thokmey.
|Tibetan youth today are more actively participating in the political processes (Photo: Tenzin Choejor)|
“Which is why there is a surfeit of candidates in many of the constituencies.”
Besides, NGOs like the Tibetan Women’s Association have also carried out various awareness programmes at the grassroots level in the months before the primaries.
The final round of Assembly elections will be held together with that of the Kalon Tripa on 18 March 2006.
www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration.
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