Dharamshala — The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) announced the results of the preliminary elections of the16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile that took place on 19th October, 2015.
Dr Lobsang Sangay, the current Sikyon maintained a lead by bagging 66.71% of votes. The second most voted candidate, Penpa Tsering, TPiE Speaker got 23.47% votes. Lukkar Jam followed with 5.59% votes, Tashi Wangdu with 4.11%, Tashi Topgyal with 0.083% and lastly former Kalon Tripa received 0.039. A total of 45,733 votes were recorded.
Tibetans from India, Nepal and abroad participated in the voting. The voter turn out was approximately 53% of registered voters", said Tenzin Norbu, Deputy Secretary of the Election Commission of the CTA.
The Tibetan election commission, as per the electoral rules, has shortlisted a total of top six candidates for the final round of Sikyong election due to be held on March 28, 2016.Estimates show that some 90,000 of the approximately 150,000 Tibetan exiles worldwide are above the age of 18 and are eligible to vote.
Article 67 of the electoral rules and regulation states that the election commission, after giving opportunity to withdraw candidature, should shortlist not more than six candidates for Sikyong from the preliminary election and not less than two candidates for the final election.
"However, if the vote margin between the second and third candidate is less than 20% in the preliminary election, three candidates shall be shortlisted for the final Sikyong election. If two candidates poll equal highest votes in the final election, the decision as to the winner will be made then," said Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur, Chief Election Commissioner who presided over the conference.
"Although, if the votes counted for the 3rd candidate are less than 20% of 2nd, then only top 2 will participate in the elections", he added.
The election commission (EC) has also shortlisted 40 candidates each from the three traditional provinces of Tibet, 8 candidates each from four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon religion, North & South America, and Europe. Four candidates are shortlisted from Australasia. The EC is yet to announce a final candidate list from 180 people, who will compete for the 45 seats in the exile Tibetan Parliament.
The final rounds of the elections to be held on March 28, 2016 will elect the third directly-elected prime minister of Tibet's government in exile and the members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
On being asked about the expectations of the voters and the probability of Dr Sangay being re-elected, Mr Tenzin Norbu replied, "Tibetans only want peace and re-election of Dr Sangay, only time will tell. Loosening the grip of the Chinese is also one of the agendas of the CTA as of now. Our envoys are placed and dialogue is most welcome".
Mr Choephel said that Sikyong candidates should confirm their candidature between December 5 - 24, 2015 by submitting a letter of confirmation to the EC through the local Commission. This should include the candidate’s name, age, date of birth, Green book number, brief biography in Tibetan Himalayan font 16 (not exceeding 18 Lines) with a recent passport-sized photo in colour.
Candidates of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile should submit their letter of confirmation from December 5, 2015 and not later than January 18, 2016. The letter of confirmation should contain the candidate’s name, age, date of birth, Green book number, brief biography in Tibetan Himalayan font 16 (not exceeding 18 Lines) with a recent passport sized photo in colour.
Those who would like to withdraw their candidature should do so by writing to the Election Commission. Withdrawal of candidature won’t be allowed once the final list is announced. If a candidate fails to confirm their candidature before the due date, the candidate would be considered unwilling to contest the election.
Additional Election Commissioners; Tenzin Choephel and Ven Tenpa Tashi were also present at the occasion.