Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Race for the Kalon Tripa is Wide OPEN

As shared in my last opinion piece, Personal reflection on the Kalon Tripa primary election, the results of Kalon Tripa’s primary election was not a huge surprise. From the start, it was clear that the race to the Kalon Tripa is between and among two candidates, Lobsang Sangay la and Tenzin Namgyal Tethong la.

I feel sorry for the later candidates, who rarely had the chance to prove themselves as a prospective Kalon Tripa candidate, as they were neither nominated nor endorsed by any Tibetan organizations. The case of Kasur Tashi Wangdi is an exception here. At first, he was nominated by the National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) but withdrew from the race. However, he later joined the race but was too late to make an impact on voters.

Let me congratulate Lobsang Sangay la for his impressive win in the primary election. However, the win was not as impressive as to feel comfortable and relax. Only 61% of voters (roughly 48,000) took part in the primary election while the total number of registered voters stands at 79,449. Moreover, the total number of registered voters will see an increase with the voter registration now open for erstwhile-unregistered voters. Therefore, Lobsang Sangay la’s vote of 22,489 is not significant enough by and of itself to win the final round of election in March 2011.

On a similar note, Lobsang Sangay la’s winning margin of 10,170 (22,489-12,319) votes is not significant by and of itself for Tenzin Namgyal Tethong la to feel the heat for the final race. From my novice prediction, the chances of withdrawing by few or all of the last four candidates from the final race are high. And I feel majority of these candidates’ supporters will turn to Tethong la for their final vote if viewed and analyzed from the general characteristics of these candidates.

Considering the total expected registered voters of more than 80,000 for the final election day in March 2011, the race for the Kalon Tripa is wide OPEN between these two candidates. Any of the two candidates has the potential to win the final round of election. However, both the candidates need to work harder to pull-in their supporters to the final polling booth. They should be more critical of each other’s views, opinions, standpoints, and policies in addition to the general agendas. I finally hope the upcoming debates, discussions, talks, and campaigns will be more promising, focused, and meaningful.

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