(TibetanReview.net, Dec02’20) – One of the eight voluntary or proposed “candidates” for the exile Tibetan Sikyong election for 2021 has announced that he was withdrawing from the race, citing lack of forum for debate with other “candidates” and opportunity for open interaction with the public for thorough discussion of important issues.
The would-be candidate, Mr Tashi Wangdue, former CEO of the Association of Tibetan Co-operatives in India, has further expressed disappointment in an announcement Nov 29 that in the absence of such opportunities, baseless criticisms of “candidates” of the kind which had tarnished and bedevilled the 2016 elections were now being circulated in the ongoing campaigns.
The preliminary stage of the exile Tibetan elections takes place without any official lists of candidates. Nevertheless, several people have come forward to offer their candidature while one is being proposed by supporters.
The preliminary voting, which takes place on Jan 3, is meant to enable the Tibetan election commission to determine the lists of candidates for the final voting for elections to the post of Sikyong, the executive head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), and for seats in the 45-member Tibetan Parliament in Exile.
But it is possible that there will be no final poll for the Sikyong post if a “candidate” wins 60% or more votes in the open preliminary poll as he/she will be declared elected.
While voters can vote for any eligible Tibetan in the preliminary poll, those who have voluntarily offered their candidature are former Parliament in Exile speaker and Representative at the Washington Office of Tibet Mr Penpa Tsering, former minister and deputy speaker Ms Gyari Dolma, Tibet Fund Chairman and former Minister Mr Lobsang Nyandak, current Deputy Speaker Ven. Acharya Yeshe Phuntsok, CTA’s Chief Resilient Officer and former Washington Office of Tibet Representative Mr Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang, and SFF veteran and entrepreneur Mr Tashi Topgyal. Besides, the candidature of CTA’s Representative at the Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama New Delhi, Mr Dongchung Ngodup, is being strongly put forward by his supporters.