By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, October 20: The Election Commission (EC) of the Central Tibetan Administration on Monday announced that it would shortlist not less than two candidates for the elections for the Tibetan Prime Minister (Sikyong).
A circular from the Tibetan Election Commission reads, “Article 67 of the electoral rules and regulation states that the EC, after giving opportunity to withdraw candidature, should shortlist not more than six candidates for Sikyong in the preliminary election. Therefore, the EC shall shortlist not less than two candidates for the final election of Sikyong.”
“However, if the vote margin between the second and third candidate is less than 20 percent in the preliminary election, three candidates shall be shortlisted for the final Sikyong election,” the circular further said.
Speaking to Phayul, the Chief Election Commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur said, “The declaration of the number of candidates to be shortlisted for the final election was made before the results of preliminary is announced to avoid any criticism against the EC for being biased.”
He added that since the rule states that minimum of two finalists should be shortlisted the EC, after the prelims, have decided to shortlist two finalists with condition of a third finalist if the margin with the second is less than 20 percent.
In the circular EC also explains the rules of shortlisting of MPs, “Article 49 of the Tibetan electoral rules and regulation states that the EC should shortlist candidates not less than thrice the number of stipulated seats of the Tibetan Parliament for the preliminary election. Therefore, for the final election, the EC shall shortlist twice the stipulated seats for each constituency, in addition to the voluntary candidates.”
The election commissioner confirms that the official announcement of the preliminary elections will be made by December 4.
He also validated those prelims results circulating through social media. He said, “According the rule, the Local Election Commission can declare the results after 24 hours of the voting. They make the result public by putting it on their office’s notice board. So the results circulating should be accurate.”
According to the results so far, incumbent PM Lobsang Sangay dominantly leads the vote count in several areas where preliminary voting took place on Sunday.