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tib 444Dharamshala: A poll lasting over one year has revealed today that Dr. Lobsang Sangay is the most popular candidate for the next prime minster (Kalon Tripa) of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

The senior fellow at Harvard University Law School gained 55.5 per cent of the votes in a poll conducted by the Shambala Post, and was followed by Lobsang Nyandak with 16.5 per cent and Ngawa Tsegyam with 5.5 per cent.

Opinions have been collated by the news organization since the beginning of April 2009, and culminated today after 13 months of voting.

Over the past 13 years Lobsang Sangay has arranged conferences between Tibetan and mainland Chinese scholars at Harvard, and in India he was the youngest ever national executive member elected in the Tibetan Youth Congress.

Currently a representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lobsang Nyandak has been director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, was elected to the Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies for Kham province.

Ngawa Tsegyam, in third place, is a member of the Private Office and acts as Private Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has been recognized for his role in strengthening relations between Tibet and Taiwan.

Prime minister Prof Samdhong Rinpoche is currently serving his second five-year term which ends in August 2011 when Tibetans will elect a new leader to head the government-in-exile based in Dharamashala.

Between 1960 and 2001 His Holiness the Dalai Lama was responsible for appointing this political figure, but in the last decade he has given the responsibility to the Tibetan population.

The preliminary poll carried out by the Shambala Post is one of many efforts to gauge public opinion, including a recent survey conducted by the Kalon Tripa 2011 website which also announced Lobsang Sangay as the most popular candidate earlier this month.

The website estimated that there are about 150,000 Tibetan refugees in exile across the globe, mainly living in India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Of that number 120,000 are estimated to be eligible voters, however only 26.8 per cent of that number cast their vote in the 2006 prime ministerial election.

The Shambala Post provides readers with online news forums, blogs History, speeches of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and literary discussions.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com