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Nepal disallows Tibetan voting

March 27, 2011

Naresh Kumar Sharma, TNN | Mar 22, 2011, 08.12am IST

DHARAMSHALA: In what could be termed as very crucial election for the exiled Tibetans owing to the fact that the Dalai Lama sticking to his retirement proposal formally presented to the outgoing Tibetan parliament-in-exile last week, thousands of Tibetans voted on Sunday with great deal of enthusiasm to elect the new prime minster called as Kalon Tripa.

Besides this, the Tibetans also voted for electing new 44 members of the 15th exiled Tibetan parliament to be constituted. The polling was conducted on Sunday in the Tibetan communities based in India,North America, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, Russia, Japan,Taiwan and Australia. There are 56 regional Tibetan election commissions across the world.

However, the voting could not be held in Nepalwhere 20,000 exiled Tibetans live. The reports said that the Nepalese authorities, acting reportedly under pressure from Beijing, did not allow the elections as they believed that it was unlawful activity. Chief election commissioner (CEC) Jampal Choesang said 10 polling booths were set up at Dharamshala for which the voting was held peacefully.

"Voters seemed to have taken very active role and interest as we witnessed people in long queues wherever we went," he said. "We have not received any complaint from any other part," he added. Speaking on the voting process in Nepal, the CEC said, "we have requested our people there to appeal to the government to allow the Tibetans to conduct the voting. We hope everything will go well in Nepal as per our schedule before April 15.'' "The regional election commissions will have to send their documents to the head office in Dharamshala before April 15. After receiving them, the head office will compile the final declaration," Choesang said. "We will announce the final results on April 27," he added.

A total of 83,399 Tibetans had registered to exercise their franchise. There are three candidates for the PM's post --Lobsang Sangay, Tenzin Tethong and Tashi Wangdi. Sangay is favourite for Sunday's election having picked up about 50% votes in the preliminary round of elections held last year.

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