DHARAMSALA, 8 Feb: The Tibetan Election Commission today announced the results of the preliminary round of election for the third Sikyong of the Tibetan people and the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
The Election Commission has shortlisted six candidates for the final round of the Sikyong election. Among the six shortlisted candidates, former Speaker of the Tibetan parliament Penpa Tsering has secured 23,762 votes followed by Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang with 14,031 votes, former Kalon Gyari Dolma with 13,117 votes, former Kalon Dongchung Ngodup with 10,011 votes, former Kalon Lobsang Nyendak with 983 votes and incumbent Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok with 221 votes.
For the final round of the election for members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, the Election Commission has shortlisted thirty candidates each from the three provinces of Tibet, six candidates each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, traditional Bon religion, North America and Europe, and three candidates from Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan).
Tibetan Parliament-in-exile consists of 45 members: ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet, two members each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith, two members each from Europe and North America and a member representing Tibetans in Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan)
While announcing the results, Wangdu Tsering Pesur, the Chief Election Commissioner reported an unprecedented 76.78per cent voter turnout during the preliminary round of the election.
The EC provided a period of 9 days till 16 February to the declared candidates to decide if they wish to withdraw their candidacy and that the final candidates will be announced on 21 March.
Until then, the EC declared a blanket ban on political campaigns and events from the candidates as well as their supporters.
Except for Tibetans inside Tibet, eligible Tibetans spread across the world in some twenty-six countries turned up in droves to vote for their next political head and MPs at polling stations set up in their respective areas by 57 local Election Commissions under the EC of the CTA.
A total of 82,969 exiled Tibetans have registered vote in the 2021 general elections. The registration is still open for Tibetans who will turn/turned 18 from 3rd Jan 2020- 10th April 2021. “They can get registered at their local Election Commissions to vote for the final round,” the EC added.
Like the two previous cycles, exiled Tibetans in Bhutan couldn’t exercise their suffrage during the preliminary round of the 2021 Tibetan general election as well.
However, in Nepal, the election was conducted successfully despite some major setback in the beginning.
The final round of the election will be held on 11 April 2021.
This story was updated at 5:0 p.m. on 9th Feb. with the revised vote count of Sikyong candidates after the EC reported counting the votes of Tibetan diaspora in France twice.