(TibetanReview.net, Aug15’20) – Kasur Gyari Dolma, a former minister in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as well as a former deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, has announced Aug 14 that she is seeking election as the Sikyong (the executive head) of the CTA for which polling will be held next year. Others who have also announced their candidature include current Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, former minister and New York-based Tibet Fund Director Mr Lobsang Nyandak, and former CEO of the Association of Tibetan Co-operatives in India Mr Tashi Wangdu.
Any announcement of candidature at this stage can only be unofficial. In the two-stage Tibetan election system, the preliminary poll is meant for determining the list of candidates. It takes place without any list of candidates. A voter can write any name of any eligible candidate on his ballot paper.
Apart from candidates shortlisted from the preliminary poll, the final list will include those who volunteer to offer their candidature for the post.
Those who have not announced their candidature but are seen as being in the running include former Deputy Speaker and former representative at the Office of Tibet in Washington DC Mr Penpa Tsering, former security minister and current representative at the Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama in New Delhi Mr Dongchung Ngodup, and the Director of Social and Resources Development Fund (SARD) of the CTA Mr Kelsang D Aukatsang.
The process for the election of the Sikyong and the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile in 2021 was launched on Aug 3 with the newly nominated Additional Election Commissioners Geshema Delek Wangmo and Mr Sonam Gyaltsen being sworn in.
The second five-year term of the current Sikyong will end in May. The Sikyong’s post is limited to two terms.
The Tibetan election commission is yet to announce dates for the polls, given the prevailing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 global pandemic. However, there are time limits for conducting the polls.