Dharamsala, June 10 (IANS) Polls to elect a new Tibetan government-in-exile will be held in March 2016, it was announced here on Wednesday.
“The preliminary election for the Sikyong (political leader) and members of the 16th Tibetan parliament will be held on October 18. The final election would be held on March 20,2016,” chief election commissioner Sonam Choephel Shosur told reporters here.
He urged the candidates to refrain from excessive campaigning in sensitive areas such as Nepal where the local people are still recovering from a severe natural tragedy.
The general election will elect the fourth political leader (earlier known as prime minister) and the 16th Tibetan parliament-in-exile, comprising 45 members.
The 46-year-old Harvard educated Lobsang Sangay is currently the political leader. He is also the political successor of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Ever since assuming power in August 2011, granting more autonomy in Tibet “within the Chinese constitution”, creating awareness on Tibet and educating the exiled youth are among the other crucial issues before Sangay.
He took over the reins of the exile government from monk scholar Samdhong Rinpoche, who held the post for the past 10 years.
Meanwhile, Tashi Wangdu, CEO of the Federation of Tibetan Co-operative Societies, on Wednesday announced his candidature for the elections.
“Driven by the urgent need to re-establish the dialogue with China for the peaceful resolution for Tibet and further stabilising the Tibetan settlements and other compelling needs of the Tibetan community have inspired me to stand for the elections,” he told reporters here.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern Indian hill town.