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10june20103Dharamshala: At a press conference in Dharamshala on Thursday, Mr Jampal Choesang, the chief election commissioner of the Tibetan government-in-exile, announced the voting dates of the upcoming elections for the next Tibetan Prime Minister and Tibetan Parliament representatives. He also introduced two additional election commissioners, who were recently appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Ven. Geshe Rigzin Choedak, the head of Dolma Ling, (Tibetan Nunnery and Institute of Buddhist Dialectics) and Mr Chutpar Yangkho Gyal, general Secretary of Central Editorial (Sheja Kundue Tsomdig), have been appointed as additional election commissioners, who have the same power as Mr. Choesang.

The fixed terms for the 14th Tibetan parliament-in-exile and the 2nd Tibetan prime minister (Kalon tripa) will end in 2011. Mr Choesang said that the election commission has already sent out a first announcement regarding the 2011 elections and will send another soon for voter registration.

"The pre-election of the 15th parliament and 3rd Prime Minister voting will be fixed at same date this time on October 3; also same with the last General Election on March 20 2011, second week near after the Tibetan New Year by expecting maximum participation in voting this year," said Mr Choesang.

Many Tibetans present raised questions regarding the 19 candidates for the next Tibetan prime minister, whose names were published on Kalon Tripa website ( www.kalontripa.org ); Mr. Choesang clarified during the press conference that this website is an independent volunteer initiative, "not officially launched by Tibetan government and selection of its candidates are also not official initiative, but those who will elected by people in March this year will be official.”

The preliminary voting date will be 3rd October 2010, and the final date for the general election of the next members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and Tibetan prime minister will be on 20th March 2011.

Mr. Choesang announced that voter registration will be open from 18 June-18 August of this year, “but maybe there will be some changes made as to the closing date of the election."

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