Dharamshala — The Tibetan Election Commission (EC) Tuesday announced the dates for the preliminary and final election of Sikyong of the 15th Kashag and members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Speaking to media representatives at headquarters of the Tibetan-administration in Dharashala, the Chief Election Commissioner, Sonam Choephel Shosur said "The preliminary election for Sikyong and members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament is slated for 18 October 2015. The final election to be held on 20 March 2016."
The Election Commissioner is accompanied by the two Additional Election Commissioners appointed recently by the standing committee of the Tibetan parliament in lieu of the upcoming elections.
"The total campaign expense for a Sikyong candidate should not exceed INR 8 Lacs and the campaign expense for a candidate for the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile should not exceed INR 3 Lacs," the election commission said while announcing some new rules regarding campaign expenses and activities of the candidates.
"All campaign activities should cease two days before the final Election Day," the EC added.
The EC urged the candidates to submit their names and details to their local election commission before announcing their candidacy.
They also urged the candidates to refrain from excessive campaigning in sensitive areas such as Nepal where the local people are recovering from a severe natural tragedy.
The 2016 general election will elect the Tibetan political leader (Sikyong) and 45 members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
Tashi Wangdu, the CEO of the Association of Tibetan Cooperatives in India, is the first person to announce his candidature for the 2016 Sikyong election.
Speaking to media in Dharamshala, on Tuesday, Mr Wangdu declared his four reasons for his candidacy:
1. Under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Its an opportunity to take responsibility and serve the Tibetan people.
2. Some dedicated members of the exiled Tibetan community recently expressed that I should stand as a candidate for Sikyong election 2016.
3. To seek urgent resolution to the issue of Tibet: what Mr Wangdu says is the most important issue.
4. To be visible or seen by all the Tibetans ("SEEN") which includes sustainability, education, economy and negotiation.
The Sikyong is the administrative head of the exile Tibetan administration based at Dharamshala, India. A Sikyong cannot serve for more than two consecutive terms and the current Sikyong Lobsang Sangay can stand for one more election for the post.
The 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile would be composed of 45 members– 10 each representing the three traditional provinces of Tibet, two each from the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon religion, three representing Tibetans in North America, two representing Tibetans in Europe and one representing Tibetans in Australian and Asian regions other than India, Nepal and Bhutan.