The splitting of five year Speaker term in halves is almost unheard of in democracies around the world but we Tibetans are having it for the second time. In 2006 the speaker term was split between MP Penpa Tsering and late MP Karma Chophel. This time around it’s split between MP Sonam Tenphel and MP Pema Jugney. This is ugly. Both the speakers are accountable only half the way and both gain half ass experience. Besides in such a scenario of a vote tie, there is no law set in the exile charter or in the electoral rulebook that could apply to resolve the situation. Only a few more rounds of voting are conducted with the same result of a tie. Hence a customary practice of splitting the speaker responsibility into first half and second half is applied.
MP Tsering Youdon
This 22 MP vs 22 MP tie or draw issue could have been easily avoided if MP Tsering Youdon showed up on the speaker voting day. But she did not. Of course, she had to attend her daughter’s graduation in the US and this is fine. But the graduation ceremony did not end on the day of speaker voting day. It ended long before the speaker election. But She showed up the very day after the election ended in a tie. I am relieved she was not struck by any natural disaster or some real tragedy which I suspected to be the cause for her not showing up on such an important political day. Usually, she is a responsible MP.
In a small parliament like ours, it’s not hard to find out who voted whom. If she wanted to vote for MP Sonam Tenphel she should have done so if she thought, he as an independence believer deep down could be more welcoming to Lukar Gem and the independent voice. She should have done so without feeling uncomfortable of being caught later what camp she voted. MP Tsewang Rigzin voted Sonar Tenphel, not Pema Jugney who is a staunch middle way supporter. He did it, even naively ignoring the provincial undertones in the selection process. Well, that’s his clear stand.
MP Pema Chazoetsang voted Sonam Tenphel because she believes having the clergy in the political parliament or having a monk as a Speaker is unique to our democracy implying that monks or the clergy are morally purer than lay folks. I absolutely reject this claim. But that’s for the next article.
Home Minister Gyari Dolma
Sometime ago former Home Minister Gyari Doma made it clear she would not do a second term as a minister because that would deprive her of the opportunity to stand for Sikyong 2021. Exile charter does not allow a two-timer as minister to fight for Sikyong election.
Yes, she is standing for Sikyong 2021. And that is most welcome. But the greatest threat she sees is in the politician and statesperson of the one and only former MP DHARDON SHARLING. Next election would decide a female Sikyong. Voters are getting tired of male domination for 60 years in exile political life.
As soon as DHARDON was made to take the minister oath, the 11th position Utsang MP was moved in to take her spot. This MP is Lobsang Sangay’s brother in law. From this, you can tell everything was premeditated, preplanned with the motive and intent to jettison Dhardon off the lip of a giant sinkhole. Lobsang Sangay with one rock killed 3 birds. This is called super negative regionalism.
1. Lobsang Sangay removed her, from the political structural spotlight, to distance her from the memory of voters. Also, she was in her subtle way a key supporter of Tsoktso Penpa Tsering in 2016 campaign.
2. Lobsang Sangay gave what Gyari Doma wanted, the elimination of Dhardon as the number one threat in 2021 Sikyon election because they belong to the same province.
3. Moved in a brother in law into an MP position so any position he takes on any issue in the parliament will have an extra assured support from MPs in Utsang constituency.
In any country, for example, USA, if any person has just turned 21 meaning 20 years plus 1 or more days, is under the law 21 years of age and can vote, buy cigarettes and hard drinks. Also, the second item of article 21 of exile charter clearly states minimum 35 years of age as the condition which requirement she fulfills. She is 34 years and 9 months old or we can say she is 35 running.
The article does not state one should be 35 years and a day or more old. Nor does it demand the age completion of 12,776 days on earth. So to say she has not violated the age requirement law at all. She should be brought back to her minister post today and now with honor and a gala dinner. If there is any basis for my conspiracy research, it will be crystal clear either by this October or earlier when Dhardon hits 35 years and 1-day old.
Till then stay tuned
P.S. This post was first published in March 2016