(TibetanReview.net, Dec06, 2015) – Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has won nearly 67% of the votes in the preliminary exile Tibetan poll held on Oct 20, opening the way for his possible reelection in the final poll to be held on Mar 20, 2016. Declaring the results of the preliminary polls for the second Sikyong election and the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile election on Dec 4, the Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration said Lobsang Sangay had won 30,508 votes in the preliminary poll. The current Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Mr Penpa Tsering, came a distant second, with 10,732 votes.
The Election Commission had earlier announced, on Oct 20, that there would be only two candidates for the Sikyong election unless the third candidate comes behind the second with less than a 20 percent margin. However, the third candidates, Mr. Lukar Jam, who stands for campaigning for Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule, has won only 2557 votes, which renders him out of contention from contesting for the Sikyong election unless there is a withdrawal by at least one of the two candidates who have won more votes than him. Both the top two candidates are in favour of Tibet remaining under Chinese rule, with a degree of Tibetan self-governance.
The Election Commission also announced the results of the preliminary poll for the election of the members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. The 16th Tibetan parliament in exile will have 45 members – 10 each representing the traditional Tibetan provinces of U-Tsang, Dotoe and Domey; two each from the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions of Gelug, Kagyu, Sakya and Nyingma and Tibet’s pre-Buddhist religion Bon; two from the Americas, two from Europe and one from Australasia plus Asian countries other than India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Voter turnout was 53%. The total number of registered voters was 88,326, but only 47,105 (53.33%) took part in the Sikyong preliminary poll and 46,890 (53%) in the parliament preliminary poll. The numbers of invalid votes were 499 and 2383 respectively. Tibetans in Bhutan preferred to keep away from voting after the government there demanded that the local exile Tibetan officials there submit to it the personal details of those who would take part in the voting.
A set of final lists will be published after withdrawals of candidates, if any, by the deadline of Jan 28, 2016 and the inclusion of the names of independent (or “voluntary”) candidates. However, the rules do not allow voluntary candidates for the Sikyong election, for which the deadline for the withdrawal or affirmation of candidature is Dec 24.
For the full election results, visit: http://tibet.net/2015/12/election-commission-declares-result-of-preliminary-election-for-sikyong-and-tibetan-parliament-in-exile/