Constitution

Roles & Responsibilities of the Chitue

Chapter V  The Legislature

Article 36  Legislative Power
All legislative power and authority shall rest in the Tibetan Assembly, and such legislation shall require the assent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to become law.

Article 37  Composition of the Tibetan Assembly
The Tibetan Assembly shall consist of:
(1) a) 10 members elected from each of the three regions of Tibet without discrimination of sex;
b) 2 members elected from each religious denomination: Nyingma, Kagyud, Sakya, Geluk and Yungdrung Bon;
c) 1 to 3 members directly nominated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
d) 1 member elected by Tibetans residing in Canada and the United States of America;
e) 2 members elected by Tibetans residing in European countries.
According to clause (a) of this Article, there shall be at least 2 elected women members from each region to represent that region’s constituency.
(2) The Tibetan Assembly may increase the number of regional deputies as and when required.

Article 38  Qualifications for Membership of the Tibetan Assembly
The qualifications of a member of the Tibetan Assembly shall be:
a) Must be a citizen of Tibet.
b) Must be at least 25 years of age.
c) Not declared mentally unsound by a Court or a licensed medical practitioner.
d) Not declared bankrupt.
e) Not convicted of any criminal offense by a court of law.
f) Not a member of the Tibetan civil service or a beneficiary.
g) Not enjoying service, status or economic benefit from other countries detrimental to the interest of Tibetan people.
h) Not declared disqualified in accordance with the election rules and regulation prescribed by the Tibetan Assembly.

Article 39  Duration of the Tibetan Assembly
Subject to Article 57 of this Charter, which requires the dissolution of the Tibetan Assembly before the expiration of its duration, the term of each Tibetan Assembly shall be 5 years.

Article 40  Sessions of the Tibetan Assembly
His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall summon the regular Tibetan Assembly to meet at such time, place and duration as may be recommended by the Speaker and the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly in this behalf. The Secretary General of the Tibetan Assembly shall send notices summoning members of the Tibetan Assembly to such a session. A time period of six months shall not pass between the last session and the date appointed for the next session.

Article 41  Special Sessions
(1) His Holiness the Dalai Lama may, at His discretion, summon a Special Session of the Tibetan Assembly, or He may do so at the recommendation of more than 50% of the members of either the Kashag, the Tibetan Assembly, or the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly.
(2) In and event which requires the summoning of a special session of the Tibetan Assembly for the purpose of matters specified in clause I, Sub clause (B) of article (31) & clause IV of article (34), the Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly may, in consultation with the Kashag, summon such a session.

Article 42  Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly
(1) When the Tibetan Assembly is not in session, there shall be a Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly which shall consist of 2 members from each region, 1 member from each of the religious denominations, and 1 member from among those directly nominated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, either elected or selected. This Standing Committee shall be redesignated each year.
(2) The Standing Committee shall exercise authority and the conduct of business in such manner as the Tibetan Assembly may direct in accordance with law.

Article 43  His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Annual Address and Messages to the Tibetan Assembly
(1) At the commencement of the first session of each Tibetan Assembly, or at the commencement of the first session of each year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall address or send messages to the Tibetan Assembly.
(2) His Holiness the Dalai Lama may, at His discretion, address or send messages to the Tibetan Assembly or the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly on such occasions when a Bill or other legislation is returned for reconsideration, in accordance with law.

Article 44  Right of Admission of Kalons in the Tibetan Assembly Session
The Kalons shall have the right to take part in debate, discussion and submit any explanation in the sessions of the Tibetan Assembly, provided that the Kalons are not entitled to vote in the Tibetan Assembly.

Article 45  The Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly
(1) At the commencement of the first session of each Tibetan Assembly, the members shall elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker from among the Assembly members by means of a secret ballot.
(2) After the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly, and as soon as possible before assuming their respective offices, they shall each take an oath and affirmation of office before His Holiness the Dalai Lama according to the form as prescribed by law.
(3) If either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker so elected isremoved or is required to be removed by more than a two-thirds majority of the total members in the Tibetan Assembly, he or she shall vacate his or her office on and from the day of such a resolution.
(4) When the Tibetan Assembly is in session deliberating on a matter concerning the removal of either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly, he or she shall not partake in such a session.
(5) In the event of the seat of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly becoming vacant due to removal, death or otherwise, as soon as may be, their replacement shall be elected in accordance with law.

Article 46  Priviledges of the Members of the Tibetan Assembly
(1) Any member of the Tibetan Assembly shall not be liable to any proceedings in any Tibetan Justice Commission with regard to any statement made or voting procedures held in the Tibetan Assembly or any Committee thereof.
(2) In other respects, all matters regarding priviledges of the members of the Tibetan Assembly shall be defined in accordance with law made, from time to time, by the Tibetan Assembly.

Article 47  Oath or Affirmation by Members of the Tibetan Assembly
Every member of the Tibetan Assembly shall, before taking his or her seat, take and subscribe before the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly, or a person appointed on his or her behalf, an oath and affirmation of office according to the form as prescribed by law.

Article 48  Voting in the Tibetan Assembly
Except as provided in the Articles and other provisions of this Charter, all other business of the Tibetan Assembly shall be determined by a majority vote. In the case of an even or tie of votes, with regard to business matters, the Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly shall, in his or her discretion, cast the deciding vote whereupon the matter may be resolved.

Article 49  Quorum of the Tibetan Assembly
(1) If two-thirds of the total number of members, either in the Tibetan Assembly or its Standing Committee, as the case may be, are in session it shall have the right to resolve any matter. Provided that when the total number of members are equally divided, the member remaining thereof shall not be taken into account.
(2) If a session of the Tibetan Assembly is required to be prolonged by more than a week in the absence of the minimum quorum required, the Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly may, in consultation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, prolong the meeting.
(3) If any member of the Tibetan Assembly vacates his or her seat during a session, or if it is later discovered that a non-member was present and had voted in the session, the matter deliberated thereupon by the Tibetan Assembly shall remain valid provided that such a person present and voting without any right shall not be eligible in the future for nomination as a member in the Tibetan Assembly.

Article 50  Salaries and Allowances of Members of the Tibetan Assembly
All members of the Tibetan Assembly shall, from the day of taking an oath and affirmation of office until the expiration of their term, be entitled to receive salaries and allowances as may be determined by the Tibetan Assembly in accordance with law.

Article 51  Introduction and Passing of Bills
(1) No bill or legislation dealing with the imposition, remission, abolition, alteration or regulation of any tax, or regulation forborrowing of money for the Tibetan Administration or giving of any guarantee by the Tibetan Assembly, shall be introduced without the recommendation of the Kashag. Provided that existing laws for the reduction or increase of any tax shall need no recommendation from the Kashag.
(2) Any bill or legislation formally deliberated in the Tibetan Assembly involving an expenditure of the Tibetan Administration shall not be passed without the recommendation of the Kashag.
(3) Subject to the preceding Articles, the Tibetan Assembly or any member therein, is entitled to introduce any bill or legislation, or propose any amendment, as prescribed in the rules of the Tibetan Assembly.
(4) Any bill or legislation, if necessary, can be referred for consideration and recommendation to the Committee(s) specially appointed for that purpose before being discussed or deliberated in the Tibetan Assembly.

Article 52  Annual Budget of the Tibetan Administration
(1) The Kashag shall be required to produce an annual statement of expenditure and estimated receipts of the entire Tibetan Administration for the coming year before the Tibetan Assembly. The annual budget statement shall be divided into the following categories:
a) the sums deemed necessary to meet the estimated expenditure from the revenue of the Tibetan Administration as stated in the succeeding clause; and
b) the sums required to meet other expenditure(s) proposed to be made from the revenue of the Tibetan Administration.
(2) The sum of expenditure(s) deemed necessary to be made from the revenue of the Tibetan Administration as stated in sub-clause (a) of the preceding Article, shall be as follows:
a) expenditures necessary for the office and dignity of His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
b) the salary and allowances of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly;
c) the salary, allowance and pension of the Chief Tibetan Justice Commissioner of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission; and
d) debt charges for which the Tibetan Administration is liable, including interest and redemption charges.
(3) The sum of expenditure to be made as stated above shall not be liable for vote in the Tibetan Assembly. However, the Tibetan Assembly shall not be prevented from discussing any of the above matters.
(4) The sums of all expenditures required to be made, as specified in sub-rule (b) of clause (1) of this Article, shall be subject to the approval of the Tibetan Assembly in accordance with budget regulations as set forth by the Tibetan Assembly, and shall assent, reduce or reject the proposal, as it thinks fit.

Article 53  Rules of Procedure of the Tibetan Assembly
The Tibetan Assembly shall formulate rules of procedure and conduct of business, with the approval of more than two-thirds of its total members, in accordance with the provisions of this Charter and such rules shall then come into force.

Article 54  Restriction on Discussion
No discussion or question shall be raised in the Tibetan Assembly with respect to the conduct of the Chief Tibetan Justice Commissioner in the discharge of his or her duties, except in regard to the issue of removal of the Chief Tibetan Justice Commissioner made by the findings of a Committee especially appointed by the Tibetan Assembly; and upon its recommendation to and with more than a two-thirds majority of the total members of the Tibetan Assembly, and with theapproval of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Article 55  Promulgation of Ordinances
(1) Any legislation, bill or proposal passed by the Tibetan Assembly and presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall be treated as law once He assents for its enactment. His Holiness the Dalai Lama shall decide within 14 working days whether such legislation shall be approved, or He may return the proposal with recommendations as is deemed fit within that time. Thereafter the Tibetan Assembly shall deliberate upon His Holiness’ recommendations of the proposal and then present the same to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for re-approval within fourteen working days.
(2) If at any time the Tibetan Assembly is not in session, and if any issue of major significance arises which renders it necessary and urgent, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, may in consultation with the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly, promulgate ordinances which has the same force of law.
(3) Any ordinances, promulgated as such may be amended, altered or annulled by the Tibetan Assembly through deliberation during their subsequent session.

Article 56  Referendum
His Holiness the Dalai Lama may, in pursuant to clause (a) of Article 55 of this Charter, on any legislation, bill or proposal passed and presented to H.H. the Dalai Lama by the Tibetan Assembly, call a for referendum. Such referendum shall become law if a majority vote by the Tibetan people is obtained and His Holiness the Dalai Lama assents to its enactment within 14 working days from the election result.

Article 57  Dissolution of the Tibetan Assembly and Removal of a Member
(a) In the interest of Tibet and its people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama may, in consultation with the Kashag, the Chief Tibetan Justice Commissioner, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly, either prorogue or dissolve the Tibetan Assembly in accordance with the provisions of this charter.
(b) If any member of the Tibetan Assembly has lost public support and confidence after assuming office, or if his or her conduct is found incongruent to the qualifications of the Tibetan Assembly as determined by Article (38) of this Charter, and if such an allegation or accusation made thereof is approved by a majority of its members, he or she shall be required to resign from membership of the Tibetan Assembly.
(c) In the event of such a removal, resignation, dissolution, death or election as a Regent or Kalon, as the case may be, the election for new members of the Tibetan Assembly shall be held within 180 days from the day thereof.
n-Liability of the Proceedings of the Tibetan Assembly – Article 58  No
(1) Any manner of the proceedings of the Tibetan Assembly shall not be called into question by any Tibetan Justice Commissioner under the pretext of any alleged irregularity or discrepancy with the regulations.
(2) No member of the Tibetan Assembly, who is empowered under this Charter with regard to the conduct of business, regulation, discipline or for maintaining order within the Tibetan Assembly shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any Tibetan Justice Commission.

Article 59  Emergency General Meeting
(1) If an opinion necessitates polling of the general Tibetan public in respect to an emergency or any significant publicissues, His Holiness the Dalai Lama may either promulgate an ordinance, or an Emergency General Meeting may be summoned by the joint proposal of the Kashag and the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Assembly with the consent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
(2) The composition of the representatives for such a meeting shall include the members of the Tibetan Assembly and others appointed in this behalf; the Kashag shall jointly decide, in consultation with the Tibetan Assembly or the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Assembly, the agenda, time, and venue of its occurrence.
(3) Once the agenda of the Emergency General Meeting, the number and composition of representatives, and time and venue are decided, the Office of Secretary General of the Tibetan Assembly shall issue notification within 45 days prior to the day of such a meeting.

{ Adopted by the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies: 14 June 1991 }
{ Official Title: Charter of the Tibetans In-Exile }

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