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Tibetan Deputy Speaker Announces Candidacy for Kalon Tripa

Gyari Dolma (Left)

Gyari Dolma, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, declared Wednesday that she planned to run for Kalon Tripa (Tibetan Prime Minister in Exile), becoming the first woman to contest for the post. She announced her candidacy for Kalon Tripa in a press conference at Lhakpa Tsering Hall in Gangkyi, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

Dolma, the first woman speaker of Tibetan parliament-in-exile, said issues concerning Tibetan women being given equal opportunity in politics and growing awareness about the election prompted her to run for the 2011 Kalon Tripa.

Many Tibetan women in exile have welcomed Dolma's announcement as it marks the first ever participation of a Tibetan woman in the election for the seat of highest executive office in the Tibetan government in exile.

Gyari Dolma, a member of parliament for the past 19 years, said "if given an opportunity, I am willing and enthusiastic to shoulder the responsibility of the Prime Minister." She also announced she will not contest in the upcoming Tibetan parliamentary elections on completion of her present term.

The next Kalon Tripa will be the third term Kalon Tripa who will be directly elected by the exile Tibetans after the present Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche who has served for the two terms from September 2001. Kalon Tripa’s term will be five years in duration.

The election of the second Prime Minister of the Tibetan exile government is observed as a significant episode in the Tibetan democracy.

Some information for this report was taken from Tibet Times and Phayul