(TibetanReview.net, Jun12, 2015) – The Election Commission of the exile Tibetan administration, which is headquartered at Dharamshala, India, has announced Jun 10 that the preliminary voting for the election of the next Sikyong, the administrative head of the exile administration, and of the Tibetan Parliament in exile will take place on Oct 18, 2015, with the final polls being scheduled to be held on Mar 20, 2016.
The announcement was made by Mr Sonam Choephel Shosur, the Chief Election Commissioner, at a press conference. He was accompanied by the two Additional Election Commissioners, Geshe Tenpa Tashi and Mr Tenzin Choephel, who were elected by the exile parliament on May 29 for the duration of the election process.
The election commission also announced new rules imposing limits on campaign expenses and on the conduct of the candidates. A Sikyong candidate cannot spend more than INR 0.8 million while that limit for a parliament candidate is fixed at INR 0.3 million.
Candidates have to submit their names and relevant personal details to their concerned local Tibetan election commission before announcing their candidature.
This will be the second Sikyong election and the fourth direct election for the post of the administrative head of the exile Tibetan administration. The Current Sikyong, Lobsang Sangay, can stand for one more election. However, he already has a rival. Mr Tashi Wangdu, the CEO of the Association of Tibetan Cooperatives in India, Bangaluru, with a long record of service in the exile administration in diverse capacities, announced his candidature at a press conference at Dharamshala, on Jun 9.
The coming election for the parliament in exile, the 16th, will be for 45 seats: 10 each to represent the three traditional provinces of Tibet; two each to represent the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibet’s pre-Buddhist religion Bon; two to represent Tibetans living in the Americas, two to represent Tibetans in Europe and Africa, and one to represent Tibetans in Australasia and Asian countries other than India, Nepal and Bhutan.