Election Commission announces final list of candidates for 2011 Tibetan Elections

Chief Election Commissioner Mr Jamphel Choesang (Centre) and the two additional election commissioners, Ven. Geshe Rigzin Choedak (R) and Mr Jeper Yangkho Gyal, (L) at a press conference at the DIIR Hall in Dharamsala, India, Wednesday, Jan 19 2011. (Photo: Phayul/Norbu Wangyal)

The final rounds of the elections due to be held on March 20 will elect the third directly-elected Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) of Tibet's government in exile and the members of the 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

At a press conference held here this morning, the Chief Election Commissioner Mr Jamphel Choesang announced Dr Lobsang Sangay, a senior research fellow at the Harvard Law School, Mr Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, a former prime minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and Mr Tashi Wangdi, a former minister in the exile government, as the three final candidates for the Tibetan prime ministerial elections.

Following the hotly contested preliminary rounds of the prime ministerial election held in October last year, the Election Commission had shortlisted a total of top six candidates for the final round of its election.

The other three candidates – Mrs Gyari Dolma, the incumbent deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Mr Lobsang Jinpa and Khorlatsang Sonam Topgyal – later withdrew their candidacy.

Out of the total votes cast by Tibetan exiles around the world in the preliminary race, Dr Sangay secured 22,489 votes, which is more than 10,000 votes ahead of the next highest voted candidate. Mr Tethong, Mrs Gyari, Mr Wangdi, Mr Jinpa and Mr Topgyal had secured 12319, 2733, 2101, 1545 and 605 votes respectively.

For the Parliamentary Elections, the election commission has finalised as many as 94 candidates to race for the 44 seats in the exile Tibetan Parliament.

These include 64 candidates for provincial elections, which include 23 candidates, including three voluntary candidates, for U-Tsang province; 21, including 1 voluntary candidate for Do-toe; and 20 candidates for Domed province.

The remaining 30 candidates are from the five major religious sects and, the North America and Europe regions.

While the religious sects have four candidates each, there are five candidates with 1 voluntary candidate each to elect from both North America and European regions.

Out of the 79,449 registered voters, little over 47,000 (approximately 61%) voted in the preliminary polls conducted on October 3.

Mr Choesang said his office was expecting considerable increase in the number of registered voters after it had announced fresh registration dates from November 30, 2010 to January 17, 2011 for eligible voters who had missed the preliminary elections.

He said the extended voter registration should accordingly reach the EC’s office by January 24, 2011.

Unlike in the past, the Election Commission this time had decided both the prime ministerial and parliamentary elections would take place on the same day both during their preliminary and final rounds.

Estimates show that some 120,000 of the approximately 150,000 Tibetan exiles worldwide are above the age of 18 and are eligible to vote. In the last prime ministerial election in 2006, 72,000 (60%) were registered to vote and, an estimated 26.8% (32,205 people) actually voted.

The forthcoming general elections will not only decide the third directly elected Tibetan PM, but will also determine the successor to the incumbent Kalon Tripa, marking the first democratic transfer of executive power in the history of the Tibetan nation.

In 2001, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche became the first directly elected prime minister after the Dalai Lama, as part of an effort to further democratize the Tibetan polity towards the late 1990’s, called for a directly "elected political leader" of the Tibetans living in exile.

Rinpoche is currently running his second consecutive term in the office after he secured a landslide victory in the 2006 elections receiving more than 29,000 votes (90.72%) of the total votes cast.

Rinpoche is expected to complete his term in August this year. Like other democratic countries, the charter of the Tibetan exiles bars a candidate from serving more than two consecutive terms.

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile has been based in India since it was re-established outside Tibet since the Dalai Lama and the first wave of refugees fled Tibet in 1959, soon after Chinese occupied the country.

The Dalai Lama, who is revered by Tibetans as their supreme leader, has lately described himself as a “semi-retired” person, saying he has already delegated much of the administrative and political decisions to the democratically elected Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

The decision, the 76-year old Dalai Lama says, is pursuant to the “highest priority” given soon after coming into exile in 1959 to establishing a system of governance for the Tibetan people fully based on democratic principles.

His Holiness, however, insists, it would be his “moral responsibility” to continue to act as the “free spokesperson” of Tibetan people until a mutually satisfactory solution to the Tibet problem is found.

More recently the Tibetan leader announced that he was further contemplating complete retirement from Tibetan administrative matters, but clarified that it would not mean "complete disassociation" from the Tibetan cause.

Candidates for election of Kalon Tripa

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Lobsang Senge

Lithang

US

22489

2

Tenzin Namgyal Tethong

Lhasa

US

12319

3

Tashi Wangdu

Lhoka

Europe

2101

Candidates for election of 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile

U-Tsang Province

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok

Ngari

Delhi

8655

2

Pema Jungney

Toe Ruthog

Dharamsala or Dehradun

7525

3

Dolma Tsering

Drakne

Dharamsala

7446

4

Karma YEshi

Sakya

Dharamsala

7276

5

Dawa Tsering

Toe Rachu

Dharamsala

6662

6

Bhumo Tsering

Kongpo

Dharamsala

6246

7

Dawa Phunkyi

Tsang Khampa

Dharamsala

6075

8

Tseten Norbu

Drokme

Nepal

5717

9

Jigme Jungney

Teo Ruthog

Bylakuppe

5372

10

Ugen Tenzin

Tsang Dochen

Dharamsala

4703

11

Jamyang Dorjee

Phenpo

Nepal

4552

12

Ngawang Lhamo

Toe Dhingri

Dharamsala

4034

3

Godrug Kelsang Phuntsok

Toe Yondhong

Dharamsala

3927

14

Geshe Kelsang Damdul

Tsona

Dharamsala

3859

15

Sharling Tenzin Dadon

Tsang Dumpa

Dharamsala

3648

16

Tsering Dolma

Dzongkha Tsang

Rajpur

2676

17

Chemey Yungdrung

Ngari

Dharamsala

2485

18

Sonam Sangpo

Choezong

Nepal

2241

19

Jhanyang Tsering Lhakyap

Gyaltse

Bylakuppee

2046

20

Menram Pema Dorjee

Lhodrak

Dharamsala

1840

21

Phunrab Choesang

Kharteng

Mundgod

Volunteer

22

Lungrig Sonam

Taktse zong

Mussoorie

Volunteer

23

Kunchok Tsering

Zonga Tsang

Poanta

Volunteer

Do-Toe Province

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Bawa Kelsang Gyaltsen

Bawa

Dharamsala

6669

2

Jhuchen Kunchok Choedon

Derge

Dharamsala

6011

3

Serta Tsultrim

Serta

Dharamsala

5700

4

Tsultrim Tenzin

Karze

Bir

4061

5

Geshe Yungdrung Gyaltsen

Khyungpo

Nepal

3242

6

Aukartsang Youdon

Chamdo

Delhi

3105

7

Ghang Lhamo

Drakyab

Dharamsala

3076

8

Choekyong Wangchuk

Gapa

Delhi

2788

9

Lobsang Yeshi

Tsarong

Bylakuppee

2683

10

Dorjee Wangdue

Lithang

Delhi

2100

11

Jamyang Soepa

Lithang

Dharamsala

2007

12

Gapa Lhamo

Bawa

Dehradun

1773

13

Choephel Thupten

Bawa

Bangalore

1489

14

Pema Deleg

Lingtsang

Bylakuppee

1364

15

Yangchen Dolker

Derge

Shilong

1327

16

Dhaoo Tsetan

Gapa

Kamrao

1315

17

Dawa Dolma

Karze

Honsur

1278

18

Karma Khedup

Riwoche

Orissa

1144

19

Gowo Lobsang Phende

Bapa

Mundgod

1057

20

Ngawang Tenpa

Riwoche

Nepal

968

21

Tashi Phuntsok

Nangchen

Sikkim

Volunteer

Do-Mey Province

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Penpa Tsering

Nangra

Dharmsala

1723

2

Gyalrong Dawa Tsering

Gyalrong

Mainpat

1505

3

Thupten Lungrig

Rebkong

Dharamsala

1437

4

Phelgye Dolma Tsomo

Jhakyung

Nepal

1252

5

Sonam Gyaltsen

Thika

Dharamsala

1136

6

Kirti Dolker Lhamo

Ngapa

Dharamsala

1108

7

Dolkar Kyap

Machu

Dharamsala

1100

8

Tsering Youdon

Choney

Honsur

914

9

Yeshi Dolma

Hortsang

Dharamsala

887

10

Menpa Khyenrab

Thika

Dharamsala

581

11

Mogru Tenpa

Tsolho

Dharamsala

558

12

Gyarigthar

Mangra

Dharamsala

502

13

Kunthar Dhondup

Labdrang

Dharamsala

351

14

Lobsang Palden

Ragya

Byalakuppee

347

15

Karma Geleg

Jhakyung

Bandara

340

16

Chabdrak Lhamo Kyap

Yugang

Dharamsala

312

17

Lukhar Jam

Aatsok

Dharamsala

222

18

Tashi Dhondup

Golog

Nepal

220

19

Tsangyang Gyatso

Golog

Dharamsala

208

20

Tsering Dorjee

Rebkong

Dharmasala

157

Nyingma

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Lopon Sonam Tenphel

Rekhe

Bylakuppee

1291

2

Gyari Bhutrug

Nyagrong

Bangalore

775

3

Lopon Drimey Gyaltsen

Derge

Dharamsala

463

4

Khenpo Choeyang

Serta

Dharamsala

82

Kagyu

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Tenpa Yarphel

Chamdo

Dharamsala

335

2

Karma Choephel

U-tsang

Dharamsala

229

3

Khangkar Wangchuk Dorjee

Phuri

Nepal

165

4

Lama Trinley

Ngari

Darjeeling

142

Sakya

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Norbu Tsering

Derge

Bir

231

2

Choedak Gyatso

Nangchen

Dehradun

196

3

Geshe Gasi Tseringpo

Gonjo

Bir

86

4

Thupten Gyaltsen

Markham

Purwala

58

Gelug

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Rongpo Lobsang Nyendak

Ronpo

Bylakuppee

1228

2

Atruk Tsetan

Lithang

Mundgod

1228

3

Geshe Lobsang

Karze

Bylakuppee Sera

529

4

Thungsar Rinpoche Tenzin Palden

Tehor

Delhi

393

Bon

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Geshe Monlam Tharchin

Khyungpo

Solan

70

2

Bhara Tsewang Tashi

Hor Drachen

Solan

41

3

Geshe Namdhak Tsukphui

Hor Drachen

Varanasi

18

4

Lobsang Gyatso

Khyunglung

Solan

6

North America

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Tashi Namgyal

Do-toe

Seattle

1046

2

Norbu Tsering

U-tsang

Toronto

826

3

Kunga Thinley

U-tsang

New York

384

4

Tashi Phuntsok

U-tsang

Calgary

343

5

Dekyi Choeyang

Do-mey

North America

Volunteer

 

Europe

Sno

Name

Native

Residence

Total votes in preliminary round

1

Thupten Wangchen

Kyirong

Spain

657

2

Wangpo Tethong

Lhasa

Switzerland

430

3

Chungdak Koren

Phari

Norway

427

4

Samdo Jhampa Tsering

Ae Lhagyari

Switzerland

252

5

Monkhar Sonam Phuntsok

Tsang Gyaltse

Switzerland

Volunteer

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