Incumbent Sikyong Sangay leads in preliminary election

DHARAMSALA, Oct 26: The incumbent political leader of the Tibetan people Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has secured a huge lead in the preliminary elections for the highest political post among Tibetans.

Except for Tibetans inside Tibet, eligible Tibetans spread across the world on Oct 18 turned up in droves to vote for their next political leader at polling stations set up in their respective areas.

After results acquired from 31 locations, including places where maximum number of voters is registered such as Dharamsala, Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Ladakh and Nepal, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay with 20112 votes has secured almost thrice number of the votes compared to his nearest rival Speaker Penpa Tsering who has secured 6985 votes.

The other three candidates, former political prisoner Lukar Jam, Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives CEO Tashi Wangdue and former defense personnel Tashi Topgyal secured 1612, 1183 and 30 votes respectively.

The local election commission in USA, Canada and several places in Europe, where sizable number of Tibetan voters are registered, are yet to announce the election results.

The Tibetan Election Commission will announce the official results on Dec 4 and according to the election rules and regulations stipulated in the Tibetan charter, could declare from two to six candidates for the final elections. Following that, a period of 20 days will be provided to the declared candidates to decide if they wish to withdraw their candidacy before the final candidates are announced.

However, few days after the preliminary elections were held on Oct 18, the Tibetan Election Commission announced that only the top two candidates will be allowed to contest the elections if the difference in votes between the candidates with the second highest votes and the third highest is more than 20%. If the difference is less than 20%, the third candidate will be allowed to contest in the final elections to be held on March 20, 2016.

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