By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 3: The Election Commission of the Tibetan government in exile today announced the final list of candidates
for the 2016 Sikyong as well as the 16th Tibetan Parliament.
The proceedings of the press conference had no out of the ordinary pronouncements, as the candidacy for the highest political office has been public already. The incumbent Sikyong Lobsang Sangay who led the preliminary elections with a comfortable margin is all set to be pitted against the former Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Penpa Tsering who observers and pundits say; in the last leg of campaign initiative has stepped up a notch and is expected to give a stiffer challenge, come March.
Chief Election Commissioner, Sonam Choephel Soshur said, “As per the electoral rules and regulation, we have shortlisted two candidates for the final election of Sikyong 2016.”
On the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile members, he said, “Similarly, as per the electoral rules and regulation, which states that – the election commission should shortlist twice the stipulated seats for each constituency, in addition to the voluntary candidates for the election of Tibetan Parliament – we have shortlisted twenty candidates plus one volunteer candidate for Utsang, twenty candidates each for Dotoe and Domey constituencies and four candidates each for the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Religion ”.
“For the constituencies of Europe, North America, and Australasia
(excluding India, Nepal and Bhutan) we have shortlisted the stipulated four candidates each, in addition to two volunteer candidates for North America and one volunteer candidate for Australasia region,” he further added.
In the instructions for the final elections to be held on March 20, the EC urged the Tibetan electorates who have missed out of voting in the preliminary polls to vote during the final elections. It also made a provision that stated appropriately in view of quite a few ‘undoable’ voting day incidents in the preliminary poll that “only people who are handicapped including those without sight and without both their hands may be accompanied by an escort to the voting booth”.