Tibetan Election Commission Announces Preliminary Election Results

Chief Election Commissioner Jampel Choesang (C) flanked by two additional election commissioners announces election results of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and 3rd Kalon Tripa at a conference in Dharamsala, on 12 November 2010/Photo by Jigme Tser

The results of the primary poll to nominate candidates for the Kalon Tripa or 'prime minister' of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the members of the parliament were announced by the Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration Friday morning.

The Tibetan election commission announced the shortlisted top six candidates for the Kalon Tripa and a list of 50 candidates each from the three traditional provinces of Tibet and 10 candidates each from the four major religious sects, and North America and Europe constituencies for the 44-member Tibetan parliament.

Lobsang Sangay, a senior fellow of Harvard Law School, emerged as the frontrunner candidate for the Kalon Tripa of the Tibetan government-in-exile with 22,489 of the total votes casted by Tibetans around the world. Tenzin Namgyal Tethong has secured 12,319 votes, followed by the deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Gyari dolma with 2733 votes, Tashi Wangdi with 2101 votes, Lobsang Jinpa with 1545 votes and Khorlatsang Sonam Topgyal with 605 votes.

Chief Election Commissioner Jampel Choesang said 47,000 (65%) out of the 79,449 registered voters voted in the preliminary round conducted on October 3. The results were compiled after data was received from polling booths in 56 locations in India, Nepal, Bhutan, European countries, the US and Australia, said Choesang.

The election commissioner said 1000 votes were wasted on account of 18 ballot boxes seized by the Nepal police at polling booths in Kathmandu.

613 votes casted in Bhutan were wasted as the Bhutanese government had ordered Tibetan authorities not to send the ballot papers to the election commission in Dharamsala, Choesang said.

As the Dalai Lama has turned 75 this year, the Tibetans attach greater importance to the upcoming final election on March 20, 2011, which will decide the third directly elected Tibetan prime minister and members of the Tibetan Parliament.

An estimated 140,000 Tibetans live in exile, about 100,000 of them in India.