Tibetans Elect their Head of the Government
Dharamsala July 29 2001: The final round of the direct election to elect the head of the Tibetan Government-in-exile got underway yesterday to elect the Kalon Tripa or Chair of the Kashag.
Of the two candidates remaining in the contest Samdhong Rinpoche, former speaker of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD); and Jochen Thupten Namgyal, former Chief Kalon; it is widely expected that Samdhong Rinpoche will become the next Kalon Tripa. In the preliminary round held on May 12 2001 where the voters were asked to choose their preferred candidate, Samdhong Rinpoche won more than 82% of the of the votes casted.
The preliminary round of the election process took place on 12 May 2001 due to the recent amendment to the election process. The changes are results of initiative taken by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama made known his resolve to further democratise the exiled government by conducting such an election in his annual March 10 Statement this year. Subsequently, in his address to the Tibetan Parliament, he presented a detailed outline of his proposal. This led to the amendment of the existing law for the election of the Kalon Tripa during the 12th Assembly of the ATPD, giving the right to the people to directly elect their head of the government.
The result of the election will be declared on 25 of August. The candidate securing the majority will be appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the Kalon Tripa. The term in office will be five years. Thus elected, the Chairman of the Cabinet will nominate 7 ministers to form his Cabinet.