The preliminary election for the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile is scheduled to begin tomorrow, with the final elections slated for next year in March.
Sonam Choephel Shosur, Chief Election Commissioner of the Tibetan government-in-exile called on all Tibetans living worldwide to exercise their democratic rights of voting by participating in the upcoming preliminary election.
The preliminary election for Sikyong, (the Prime Minister) and members of the 16thTibetan Parliament-in-exile is scheduled to begin on October 18. The final election will be held on March 20 in 2016, he told media here today.
The Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) is the unicameral and highest legislative organ of the Central Tibetan administration, which is based in Dharamsala.
Shosur said that the upcoming Tibetan election is a significant milestone for democracy in Tibetan community, as it is the second Tibetan general election after the complete devolution of the Dalai Lama from his political role.
This election not only highlights spirits of Tibetan democracy coming alive in exile, but it will be watched closely by people around the world, he said.
The Tibetan PM , (the chief executive) is directly elected by about 1,50,000-members of the exile Tibetan community.
The Parliament currently consists of 44 members.
Ten members each are elected from U-Tsang, Do-tod and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet, while the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith elect two members each.
Four members are elected by Tibetans in the west: two from Europe, one from North America and one from Canada.
The Tibetan Parliament-in-exile is headed by a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members amongst themselves.
"The voters must abide by the rules and regulations set out by the election commission," Shosur said.
Explaining about the nitty-gritty of the election, the Chief Election Commissioner said that a voter can vote for one candidate for Sikyong, while for the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, an ordinary citizen can select up to 10 candidates (including two women) from their constituency.
For a member of the clergy, a voter can select two candidates representing their religious tradition in addition to the 10 candidates (including two women) from their constituency, he added.