Religious personalities not to vote or contest LG elections
September 18, 2010: As the debate for local elections in the country heats up, a parallel debate has started up whether religious personalities should be allowed to vote in the elections.
And it seems most lamas who were restricted from taking part during the parliamentary elections will be left out this time as well. The only notion is that the religious personalities must remain above politics.
According to new demarcation, a lam, who holds a lineage but is not associated to any monastery, or has no disciples under him, who engages in civil activities or a namesake lam can participate in the elections.
And a lam, who holds a lineage, leads a religious establishment, who is married but has disciples under him, receives stipend or salary from the government, who, although not registered, pursues an earnest spiritual practice, will not be allowed to vote or be contestant. Pundits, who are recognised or certified and receive monetary assistance from the government, are also restricted to vote or contest.
However, it has not been finalized if the religious personalities, who now work as civil servants, will be allowed to vote or contest.