Public Talk by Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. Sonam Choephel Shosur, in Switzerland

Samstagen: Saturday 15th of June 2019, Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein organized Public Talk by Mr. Sonam Choephel Shosur CTA`s Chief Election Commissioner, at Samstagen. He speaks about the recent changes in the rules and regulations of the Tibetan Election system with special reference to the recently revised electoral system and to clarify matters pertaining to it. The Program started at about 2 pm to 5 pm with Question &answer session and a break.

The Program started with a welcome Speech by Mr. Tsamda Norbu, president of Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He gave a brief history of Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur, Chief Election Commissioner. Mr.Shosur`s brief Biography was also read by MC.

Mr Chhimey Rigzen, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has expected more participant on this important day, as he stressed the importance of getting knowledge of rules and regulations of Election before taking active participation on Election.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Mr Shosur Sonam Choephel explained the changes and insertion of new articles in Election rules & regulations as compare to past, specifically on some article 11, 24 and 67 etc.

During question & answer session, more than ten questions were posed by the public for clarifications on voter registrations and other important issues. Q&A was hosted by Mr. Lobsang Shitsetsang.

The program concluded successfully with a vote of thanks by Mr.Tsamda Norbu, President of Tibetan Community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Mr. Tsamda Norbu on his concluding Speech thanked all members,on this occasion, not only for their presence but also for their genuine interest and active participation. Thanks also go to Wädenswil Tibetan Community for their sponsorship for the auditorium. At the end, he on behalf of all Tibetans in Switzerland & Liechtenstein thanked Mr.Sonam Choephel Shosur for the Information on the rules and regulation of Electoral System and for answering all the questions professionally.

Mr. Shosur is scheduled to visit France on 17 June, Canada on 19 June and US on 22 June and he will meet Tibetans in New York.

Mr. Shosur Sonam Choephel was born in Sakya , central Tibet on 6th July 1958. He is an alumnus of CST Darjeeling and went to Chandigarh for his further studies.

He joined the Central Tibetan Administration in 1982 as a Junior Clerk. He was initially posted at the Tibetan settlement office cum branch security office in Mcleod Ganj. In 1985, he was transferred to the Tibetan Reception Centre based in Delhi.

In 1989, he was promoted to the post of Senior Clerk and was appointed as the person in-charge of resettling Tibetans coming from Bhutan at the newly established Tibetan settlement near Dhondupling Settelment in Dehradun. In 1990, he was appointed as the settlement officer cum Director of the Tibetan Reception Centre based in Delhi. He was gradually promoted to the post of Section Officer, Under Secretary and Deputy Secretary in 1992, 1993 and 1996 respectively.

On 23 Febraury 1999, he was appointed as the Settlement Officer of Hunsur Tibetan settlement after being promoted to the rank of Joint Secretary. However, after repeated request from the Tibetan public in Delhi, he was transferred back to Delhi as the settlement officer.

He was transferred to Department of Home in the year 2000. From 2001-2008, he served as the Tibetan Settlement Officer of Dharamsala. In May 2008, he was appointed as the Additional Secretary of the Department of Health before being transferred to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) as its new Director.

On 6 February 2012, he was promoted to the post of Secretary and transferred to the Department of Health. He is currently working as chief election commissioner and chairman of Public Service Commission.

Having witnessed controversies and mud-slinging during the last Tibetan general held in 2016, that hat left Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai lama upset, the Tibetan parliament–in–exile has amended the rules of elections, aiming to cleanse its politics. A set of new legislation and amendments in the Rules and Regulations of Electoral System was adopted in accordance with the Tibetan charter on the ninth day of the sixth session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament –in Exile.

Here are set of new legislation and amendments which was approved and passed with a 2/3rd majority of the House.                                                                                                            

- No Tibetan NGO or regional body will endorse the candidate vying for elections for head of administration.

- Declaration of at least two presidential candidates in the final election by the Tibetan election commission.

- Sikyong candidate, he or she must secure a minimum of 51 % votes in the primary election, failing which the round will be held again.

- A Sikyong candidate will be declared a winner if he/she secures more than 60 % votes in the primary election.

The Tibetan Central Election Commission is for the discharge of duties pertaining to the election of the members of the Tibetan Assembly , the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly , the Kalons and any other election responsibilities in regard to referendums on major issues involving the interest of Tibetan citizens.

Functions of the Commission: Whereas His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall appoint the Chief Commissioner of the Tibetan Central Election Commission; other members of the Tibetan Central Commission maybe appointed ,from time to time , by the Chief Commissioner of the Tibetan Central Election Commission in consultation with the Kashag. The rules and procedure and the functions of the Tibetan Central Election Commission shall be determined by the Tibetan Assembly, and after the consent of H.H. Dalai Lama, such regulations shall come into full force. The Tibetan Central Election Commission shall formulate general election regulations, and following the approval of the Tibetan Assembly and the assent of H. H. the Dalai Lama, such regulations shall come info full force in accordance with the provisions of this Charter. The Tibetan Central Election Commissioner shall investigate and resolve all irregularities or discrepancies involving election procedure, and if the decision made by the Commission is disapproved, the matter may not be brought before any other Tibetan Justice Commission except the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission. Any irregularities or discrepancies involving election procedure in separate Tibetan settlements may be investigated and resolved by the Tibetan Local Election Commission, and if the decision made by the Tibetan Local Election Commission is disapproved, the matter may be brought before the Tibetan Central Election Commission. Provided further that if the matter still remains unresolved, the matter may be referred to the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission.

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