EC announces preliminary election results for second Sikyong and members of 16th TPIE
DHARAMSALA, Dec 4: The Tibetan Election Commission today announced the results of the preliminary round of election for the second Sikyong of the Tibetan people and the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
The Election Commission has shortlisted six candidates for final round of the Sikyong election. Among the six shortlisted candidates, the incumbent Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has secured 30508 votes followed by incumbent Speaker of the Tibetan parliament Penpa Tsering with 10732 votes, former political prisoner Lukar Jam Atsok with 2557 votes, CEO of Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives Tashi Wangdue with 1880 votes, businessman Tashi Topgyal with 38 votes and former Kalon Tripa Professor Samdhong Rinpoche with 18 votes.
For the final round of the election for members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, the Election Commission has shortlisted forty candidates each from the three provinces of Tibet, eight candidates each from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, traditional Bon religion, North America and Europe, and four candidates from Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan).
The current Tibetan parliament consists of 44 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 and two members each from Europe and North America. However, the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile will consist of 45 members as it will include, for the first time, a member representing Tibetans in Asia and Australasia (excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan) as per an amendment made to the Tibetan charter during the last budget session.
Out of 88,326 registered Tibetan voters, 47,105 voters have cast their ballot in the preliminary round of the Sikyong election, putting the voter turnout at 53.33% and a total of 46,890 voters took part in the preliminary round of the election for the members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile with a voter turnout of 53%.
Based on the election rules and regulations, a total of 499 votes for Sikyong and 2383 votes for members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile were declared void and invalid by the Election Commission.
“Tibetans residing in Bhutan were unable to vote in the preliminary round because the Bhutanese government demanded a list of the Tibetans who would take part in the election,” Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur said.
Earlier in 2010, the Bhutanese government had ordered the Tibetan authorities not to send the voting lists and ballot papers to the election commission in Dharamsala and as a result, all 613 votes cast in Bhutan were wasted.
However, unlike the previous election in Nepal when 1000 votes were wasted as Nepalese police seized 18 ballot boxes from polling booths at two areas in Kathmandu, this year election in Nepal went smoothly and all the votes were counted.
The final round of the election will be held on March 20, 2016.