Tibetan election officials

Tibetan election officials on March 21, 2021 announcing the candidates for president of the Central Tibetan Administration and members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

With the announcement this week of candidates for the next president (or “sikyong”) and parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan community outside of Tibet has entered the final round of its democratic exercise.

Tibetans will go to the polls on April 11, 2021 to elect either Penpa Tsering or Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang as the next sikyong of the CTA, which provides democratic governance for the Tibetan exile community. Tibetans will also vote to elect members of their parliament-in-exile.

Tsering had served as a speaker of the parliament while Aukatsang had served as an advisor to the sikyong in Dharamsala, India, which is the headquarters of the CTA. Both of them have also served as representative at the Office of Tibet in Washington, DC.

Counting of the votes will take place regionally in April and in Dharamsala in May, and the results announced on May 14.

Tibetans in exile have a two-stage election system, the primary one to determine candidates, followed by the main elections. The primary elections took place on Jan. 3, 2021.

Over 80,000 Tibetans had registered for the elections, according to the Tibetan Election Commission.

The new parliamentarians will swear in on May 30, 2021, with the current parliament having its last session in Dharamsala presently.

According to remarks by members of the Tibetan cabinet, their term will also end in May, although the exact date for the swearing in of the new sikyong is not yet known.