By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA APRIL 27: The Tibetan Election Commission (EC) today announced the official result of the final Tibetan election for Sikyong (Prime Minister) of the 15th Kashag and members of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile (TPIE).
The EC spoke highly of the increase in the number of voter turnout in the final election held on March 20, 2016. Out of 90,377 registered voters, 59,353 Tibetans have exercised their right to vote in the final Sikyong election, putting the voter turnout at 65.67%. A total of 613 votes were disqualified.
The final election for the Sikyong office was contested between the incumbent Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and the current Speaker of the Tibetan parliament Penpa Tsering. Sikyong Sangay was declared the winner with a lead of 9012 votes and will run the top political post for a second term. The result for the 16th TPIE has thrown up 24 new faces.
At a press conference held yesterday at Norbu House in Mcleod Ganj by a group called people who claimed to be volunteers representing the Tibetan public, they spoke about cases they have reportedly filed against the Chief Election Commission Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur and the current Sikyong lobsang sangay for violating electoral rules and pressed for a stay order on the announcement of the final results of the Sikyong elections.
The group, formed through social networking application ‘wechat’, has about 500 members from USA, Europe and India. The group is led by a Tibetan woman named Choekyi who lives abroad.
Although the group’s representatives, Tashi Yangzom and kunchok Passang had arranged a video conference with their leader through Skype at the press conference, it did not materialize due to technical difficulties.
In their press statement, the Chief election Commission was accused of negligence as he failed to pay heed to the spelling mistake in the current Sikyong’s name while Sikyong Sangay was accused of negligence and taking the Tibetan public for a ride as he was well aware of the spelling mistake in his name and took no initiatives to correct it.
In Sikyong Sangay’s green book, his name is spelled as Lobsang Sangay but the name used by the Election Commission in the election was spelled as Lobsang Sangey.
Reflecting on discrepancy in the Sikyong’s name, Yangzom said, “Lobsang Sangay being the head of the Tibetan administration should have been more careful and corrected the spelling of his name because the same mistake subjects a common people to great difficulties.”
She further argued that everybody from the Sikyong to a lay man should be equal before the eyes of the law. Unsatisfied with the Chief election Commission’s response to their complaint, the group appealed to the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission for a stay order on the announcement of the election results but the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission dismissed the group’s request. In its response dated April 26, it stated that the stay order requested on April 25 and the ongoing case filed on April 15 regarding the spelling error in Sikyong’s name are not connected. Hence the application for the stay order has been dismissed and the Tibetan Election Commission made the announcement of the results today as scheduled.
Following are the official results of the final election:
Lobsang Sangay: 33,876 votes
Penpa Tsering: 24,864 votes
Member of Parliament results:
1 Sharling Dhadon (16,543 votes)
2 Dhondup Tashi (13,618 votes)
3 Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok (13,132 votes)
4 Dolma Tsering (11,900 votes)
5 Pema Jungney (11,476 votes)
6 Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar (9,970 votes)
7 Samten Chodon (9,930 votes)
8 Dawa Phunkyi (9,352 votes)
9 Dawa Tsering (9,240 votes)
10 Migyur Dorjee (8,977 votes)
1 Thupten Lungrig (1,943 votes)
2 Tashi Dhondup (1,647 votes)
3 Tsering Lhamo (1,569 votes)
4 Yeshi Dolma (1,467 votes)
5 Gyarig Thar (1,437 votes)
6 Lobsang Choejor (1,386 votes)
7 Dhondup Tashi (1,229 votes)
8 Ratsa Sonam Norbu (1,224 votes)
9 Karma Gelek (1,078 votes)
10 Tsering Youdon (953 votes)
1 Juchen Kunchok Choedon (8,132 votes)
2 Yangchen Dolkar (6,913 votes)
3 Serta Tsultrim (6,563 votes)
4 Dorjee Tsetan (6,539 votes)
5 Aukatsang Youdon (5,872 votes)
6 Kunchok Yarphel (5,408 votes)
7 Pema Delek (5,103 votes)
8 Lobsang Dakpa (4,829 votes)
9 Ngawang Tharpa (4,702 votes)
10 Lobsang Yeshi (4,370 votes)
1 Geshe Monlam Tharchin (152 votes)
2 Bara Tsewang Tashi (121 votes)
1 Atuk Tsetan (3,340 votes)
2 Gowo Lobsang Phendey (2,621 votes)
1 Kunga Sotop (455 votes)
2 Tenpa Yarphel (401 votes)
1 Khenpo Sonam Tenphel (676 votes)
2 Khenpo Jamphel Tenzin (592 votes)
1 Lophon Thupten Gyaltsen (300 votes)
2 Khenpo Ngodup Sonam (239 votes)
Dongdue Kyizom (406 votes)
1 Thupten Wangchen (4,076 votes)
2 Samdo Jampa Tsering (2,102 votes)
1 Pema Chagzoetsang (3,978 votes)
2 Tsewang Rigzin (2,947 votes)