Dharamshala — The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has announced final election results Wednesday showing that Dr Lobsang Sangay, the incumbent Sikyong, has won re-election, defeating challenger Mr Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament.
Results given by Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur, the chief election commissioner, show that Dr Sangay, won 57.08 percent of the March 20 vote, trailed by challenger Mr Tsering with 41.89 percent.
"As per article 67(5) of the electoral rules and regulation, the Sikyong candidate with the largest number of secret ballots cast by the public will be declared the winner," Mr Choephel said while addressing a press conference at the Lhakpa Tsering hall, Ghangchen Kyishong in Dharamshala, India, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
"Therefore, Dr Lobsang Sangay, the incumbent Sikyong, is re-elected as the Sikyong for another five year term. Dr Lobsang Sangay has got a total of 33,876 votes (57.08 % of the total vote share) as against the 24,864 votes (41.89% of the total vote share) in the name of Mr Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament," Mr Choephel said.
"Out of the total 59,353 actual voters in the Sikyong election, 613 votes were disqualified while 591 votes from the total of 58,615 actual votes cast for the Tibetan parliamentary election were disqualified," said Mr Choephel, who was accompanied by Ven Tempa Tashi and Mr Tenzin Choephel, the two additional election commissioners.
"Although there are approximately 150,000 Tibetans in exile, a total of 90,377 Tibetans registered for the final election. However, only 59,353 people actually turned up to vote in the final Sikyong elections and 58,615 turned up to vote in the final elections of the 16th Tibetan Parliament," Mr Choephel said.
"Similarly, as per article 51(1) of the electoral rules and regulation, a total of 45 members are elected for the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile," said the election commissioner.
The 45-member Tibetan Parliament is composed of 10 members each from the three traditional provinces of Tibet; two each from the five religious constituencies, two each from the Tibetan communities in North America and Europe and one from the Tibetan community in Australasia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan)," he said.
"The Election Commission heartily congratulates the winners of both the Sikyong and Tibetan Parliamentary election," Mr Choephel further added.
Dr Sangay was elected in the third direct elections for the Kalon Tripa held in March 2011. He also became the first Tibetan to be elected as the Sikyong of the CTA after His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his political authority in 2011.
Following the devolution of his political authority to the democratically-elected Tibetan leadership, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had said he was handing over the political leadership he inherited to "Sikyong Lobsang Sangay."
"I took over the political leadership of Tibet from Sikyong Taktra Rinpoche, when I was 16 years old. Today, in the 21st century, when democracy is thriving, I hand over the political leadership of Tibet to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay," the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had said.