The political scene for the election of a new prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in this town has assumed a new dimension with senior Tibetan leader Gyari Dolma announcing her candidature.
Dolma, the first woman deputy speaker of the parliament-in-exile, announced Thursday that she would contest the Kalon Tripa or prime ministerial election to be held next year. No woman has so far become the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
'If I am given the opportunity, I would love to shoulder the responsibility of Kalon Tripa,' she told IANS Friday.
'But things will be more clear by Oct 3 (when the primary elections to nominate candidates will be held),' she added.
As per the election schedule, the general elections will take place March 20, 2011. Some 120,000 Tibetan exiles worldwide - above the age of 18 - are eligible to vote.
Incumbent Samdhong Rinpoche became the first directly elected prime minister in September 2001 after the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, called for a directly elected political leader of the exiles.
The Tibetan government has so far seen four women ministers in the Kashag (cabinet) but no woman has so far become the prime minister.
Jetsun Pema, the younger sister of the Dalai Lama, was the first woman cabinet minister. She was in the cabinet for three years from 1990.
Currently, Y. Takla, minister of information and international relations, is the only woman in the cabinet.
The Dalai Lama has been based in this town since fleeing Tibet in 1959.
His government-in-exile is not recognised by any county.