Tibetans living in exile will be voting on Sunday in the first round of elections to elect their next President or Sikyong and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile. Around 80,000 Tibetans living in various parts of the globe have registered for the elections, which are held in two rounds, according to the election commission of the Central Tibetan Administration headquartered in Dharamshala.
The preliminary election, polling for which will be held on Sunday, is an “open election” in which there is no official list of contesting candidates, and any eligible person can contest and self-campaign his or her candidacy, election officials said.
The commission said that for these elections, there are nearly 56 registered voters in India, Nepal and Bhutan, and more than 24 thousand in other countries.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile (TPiE) has 45 members – 10 representatives from each of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, two from each of the five religions, two each representing the Tibetan communities in North America and Europe and one representative from Australasia. Across these categories, the top 90 candidates will be selected for the final election, and a similar process will be followed for the Presidential election.
Dr Lobsang Sangay, the incumbent President, is serving his second term in the office, and has so far been the only directly elected political leader of the Tibetans in exile ever since the Dalai Lama relinquished his political responsibilities in 2011.