Dharamsala, May 30 – The 15th Tibetan parliament in exile will not see 2 speakers, as did the dissolved 14th parliament which had its five-year term divided between Karma Choephel and Penpa Tsering who were tied in several rounds of voting done on May 30, 2006.
Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the dissolved 14th Tibetan parliament in exile has retained his post as the Speaker of the 15th Tibetan parliament in exile after 2 rounds of voting. The preliminary voting resulted in a tie between Domed MP Penpa Tsering and Utsang MP Karma Yeshi with 19 votes each and 4 for Utsang MP Pema Jungney.
The election saw 22 MPs voting in favour of Penpa Tsering and 19 MPs voting for Karma Yeshi for the post. 1 vote was declared invalid by the CEC for neutrality.
The preliminary voting for deputy speaker put top three nominees as Karma Yeshi, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and Pema Jungney. The final voting resulted in Khenpo Sonam Tenphel (Nyingma MP) winning the post of the deputy speaker of the 15th Tibetan Parliament in exile with 20 votes, Pema Jungney with 13 votes and Karma Yeshi with 9 votes.
Speaker elect Penpa Tsering served as the executive director of the Delhi-based Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre (TPPRC) before being sworn in as the speaker of the 14th parliament in 2008.
He was elected to the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, based in Dharamsala, which also serves as the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, is the highest legislative organ of the exile polity.
The current 15th Tibetan Parliament accommodates 44 members but currently has 42 members, as 2 candidates from Utsang faield to secure minimum percentage of votes in polls conducted in March this year. The MPs represent the three traditional provinces of Tibet, Tibetan exiles residing in Europe and North America, four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon religion of Tibet.
As per the amendment made by the 14th Tibetan parliament on devolution of the administrative and political powers of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama to 3 organs of Tibetan democracy, the members of the 15th Tibetan parliament in exile took the oath of office from Pema Jungney who was sworn in as the Pro Tempore (interim) speaker by Chief Justice Commissioner Ngawang Phelgye.
*The speaker and deputy speaker, Penpa Tsering and Sonam Tenphel respectively, took the oath of office from the Chief Justice Commissioner Ngawang Phelgye on Tuesday.