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Tibetans from 26 countries vote for the Dharamsala-based parliament-in-exile | India News


DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans living in 26 countries, including India, voted on Sunday in favor of the final phase of the general election for the Dharamsala-based parliament-in-exile to elect the next Sikyong (president), an official said.
Forty-five members of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also called the Tibetan parliament in exile, will also be elected by voters, said Wangdu Tsering, chief election commissioner of the Tibetan electoral commission.
There are around 1.3 lakhs of Tibetans living in exile in India and around the world. The Tibetan government in exile will elect its head on May 14.
In the latest phase of the polls for the post of CTA chairman, only two candidates, Pempa Tsering and Aukatsang Kelsang Dorjee, are in the fray, Wangdu Tsering said.
However, Pempa Tsering, the former speaker of the Tibetan parliament, is the favorite.
During the first phase of the elections, eight candidates vied for Sikyong’s position. Pempa Tsering got the most votes (24,488) followed by Dorjee (14,544).
Sikyong is the head of the Kashag or Cabinet, part of the CTA executive branch, and the position was created by the Tibetan parliament in 2011 to provide democratic governance to the exiled Tibetan community.
Before that, the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, used to exercise the powers as temporary head of the Tibetan community in all matters.
Lobsang Sangay, who became the CTA’s first Sikyong, has served two terms and, according to the constitution, cannot run for a third term.
Pempa Tsering had lost to Sangay in 2016.
“We send a clear message to Beijing that there is no democracy in China and that Tibetans do not enjoy freedom, but under the great leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exiles have been given this gift of democracy and today is a proud day, “he said. Sangay to journalists.
According to Wangdu Tsering, 83,079 voters are participating in the electoral exercise.
“We have two types of elections: one is for the CTA presidential election and the second is parliamentary. There are two candidates competing for the office of president and Tibetans are also voting to elect 45 members of parliament. We will declare the results on May 14, “he said.

Times of India