Tibetans-in-exile vote for their parliament and cabinet

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Oct.3 (ANI): Tibetans-in-exile here on Sunday voted for the first round of general elections to the Tibetan Parliament and Cabinet.

A total number of 79,449 Tibetans are registered as voters this time in comparison to 2006 when there were 72,771 voters. In the 2006 elections, 52.29 per cent of Tibetans had exercised their political right.

Prominent candidates in the fray include Harvard University Professor Lobsang Sangey, Tibetan diplomat Tenzin Thethong Namgyal, former President of Tibetan Youth Congress, Tsetan Norbu, Speaker Pempa Tsering and Deputy- Speaker Dolma Gyari, the only woman candidate.

"Now if you look, there are two things. One, people expect that there would be a fruitful negotiation with the Chinese, with the regard with the future of Tibet. That would be the most important thing for the Tibetan people wherever they are, whether they are here in Dharamsala or elsewhere in India," said Jamphel Choesang, Chief Election Commissioner.

"And another could be, in exile we have 150,000 Tibetans, so people look forward more improvement in the infrastructure of the Tibetans wherever they are living," he added.

Tibetans gathered at different polling booths in Dharamsala to cast their vote.

"We are just expecting that what we say sincere candidate (wins), who will really look after the well being of the Tibetan communities, that's our main expectation. Whoever that people may be, whoever cast that people may be, he should look after the well being of the Tibetan community," said Kelsansg Wangdoo.

An estimated 80,000 Tibetans along with their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, arrived in India in 1959 after an unsuccessful uprising against the Chinese rule. By Akhilesh Bharati (ANI)

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