Dharamshala, India — “We are sending a message directly to Beijing that, they do not have democracy in China and Tibetans in Tibet do not enjoy freedom, but under the great leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we, the Tibetans in exile have been given the gift of democracy, today is a proud day for Tibetans”, said Dr Sangay on final voting day.
On April 11, 2021, tens of thousands of Tibetans around the world exercise their democratic rights by cast their votes to elect their future President of Central Tibetan Administration(CTA) and Members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament at different allotted places respectively. More than 83,000 Tibetans in 26 countries have registered their green books to vote for the 2021 final election.
Long lines of Tibetan monks, nuns, old and young Tibetans waited to vote at a number of locations, including Mentsekhang, Lhagyalri, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), Yongling School in McLeod Ganj, and Gangchen Kyishong, where the CTA's headquarters are located. On Sunday, April 11, 2021. The pool areas opened at 8.0 am and end at 5 pm on Sunday, April 11, 2021.
“We are sending a message directly to Beijing that, they do not have democracy in China and Tibetans in Tibet do not enjoy freedom, but under the great leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we, the Tibetans in exile have been given the gift of democracy, today is a proud day for Tibetans, where Tibetans all over the world come together to celebrate and participate, embrace democracy, to show that we are refugees for political reason, but as a human being, we are as capable as good as any other citizens of the democratic country”, said Dr Lobsang Sangay, president of CTA at the polling booth in Mentsekang, Gangchen Kyishong, the exile headquarters.
“I wish all the best for the upcoming up leadership, my team is with me, we wish the new team led by new Sikyong and Kashag very best that they will be much better than us in reaching out the global stage, get support from all of the world and raise Tibet issue around the world”, said Sikyong.
Penpa Tsering and Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang are the two final candidates for Sikyong, and one of them will take over the Central Tibetan Administration from two-term Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay in late May,2021.
There are 93 candidates running for 45 seats in the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, representing Tibet's three traditional provinces, four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and the Bon religion, and Tibetan communities in North America, Europe, and Australasia.
The 2021 general election is the third direct election of the Tibetan leadership since the complete devolution of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2011.
The Tibetan election commission will announce the name of new elected Sikyong and members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on May 14, 2021.