EC declares list of final candidates for 2021 Sikyong and 17th Tibetan Parliamentary Elections

The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration declares list of final candidates for 2021 Sikyong and 17th Tibetan Parliamentary Elections

Dharamshala: The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration today declared the list of final candidates for the 2021 general election of Sikyong of the 16th Kashag and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, thus formally announcing the electoral process for the final round of 2021 Tibetan general which there are two Sikyong (President of the Central Tibetan Administration) this year.

The one is Penpa Tsering, the president of Parliament of the Central Tibetan, and the other one is Aukatsang Kelsang Dorjee, the representative of Central Tibetan Administration in the US.


Penpa Tsering was born in an ordinary family of Tibetans in exile. His parents are now ordinary Indian Tibetan following Dalai Lama’s exile.

An exiled Tibetan named Tsering Phuntsok talk about Penpa Tsering like: I found you are the only candidate for Sikyong who came from grass roots level and can feel the nerves of general public in India and abroad.Moreover, he is dedicated, workaholic gentleman committed to the welfare of the Tibetan society. He has the ocean of experiences in public life and he is perfect for the post of Sikyong. He has all the required qualifications from lower level (grass root) to the post of speaker Tibetan Parliament in exile and have vast experience, both in executive (Administrative) and in legislative skills.

It is worth mentioning that Penpa Tsering participated in 2016 Central Tibetan Administration general election, and he was a competitor of Lobsang Sangay back in the previous election. After Penpa Tsering’s failure in 2016 election, he was appointed as the representative of Central Tibetan Administration in the US. In 2018, he was removed from office by Lobsang Sangay and Lobsang Sangay released 10 violations of Penpa Tsering, who was in office for 1 year and two months. In May, he filed sue against Lobsang Sangay at the highest court. In October, 2019, he won and requested that Lobsang Sangay publish an apology in newspaper.

Dawa Tsering, as the representative of Central Tibetan Administration in Taiwan and the chairman of Dalai Lama Tibetan Religion Foundation, said in an interview: “Penpa Tsering was the former speaker and he stood a chance but he chose to fight against Lobsang Sangay (the lawsuit). As a result, he lost his precious opportunity, which did no good to himself at all. And many people in the community thought that he should not sue against Sikyong, because the action was seen as a serious offense to the seniors. Tibetans don’t want to see someone who are against the government and makes separation within the community. Lobsang Sangay has been elected so people should accept it and follow the rule, just for the greater good.

Kelsang Dorjee (Kaydor) Aukatsang was from the high level family of Tibetans in exile, He is the son of Jampa Kalden Aukatsang, former Secretary of the Department of Security, CTA. Kelsang Dorjee was born in India in 1968 and graduated from Tufts University in the US. As a son in a privileged family, he was undoubtedly supported by other privileged Tibetans. Kelsang Dorjee is now a close friend of Lobsang Sangay. During the time of Lobsang Sangay, Kelsang Dorjee usually undertook economy development in the community. Within the CTA, Aukatsang held the roles of Special Advisor to the Sikyong, Representative of the Dalai Lama to North America, and Chief Resilience Officer of the CTA and the Director of the Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD) under incumbent Sikyong Lobsang Sangay’s administration.In this election, he was supported by Lobsang Sangay

He put forward a slogan “ONE NATION.ONE PEOPLE.ONE STRUGGLE”. But his opponents think that Kelsang Dorjee shows no respect to HHDL, and he has no knowledge about Tibetans inside Tibet. Also, he can write barely a word of Tibetan. Critics said that “if elected, he might insist on his One Leader policy, weakening the Dalai Lama’s influence and causing the exiled Tibetans to lose their belief. This will be devastating for us.” An exiled Tibetan named Gesang said:” Kaydor never follows original proposal of HH the Dalai Lama, because he will continue the legacy of Lobsang Sangay. We all know that the division and, in our society, today is all due to LS’s short-sighted tribal politics.”

Many Tibetans think that Kelsang Dorjee involved in corruption when he was in office. From 2013 to 2016, when he was the director of the North American office of the govement,1.5million US aid funds went missing”.

The 2021 general election for Sikyong and members of the 17th Tibetan Parliament is the third direct election of the Tibetan leadership since the complete devolution of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2011. The final polling will take place on 11 April 2021 from 8 am to 5 pm.

 Photo: Chief Election Commissioner Wangdu Tsering, alongside additional commissioners, Geshema Delek Wangmo (R) and Mr. Sonam Gyaltsen (L), declares the list of final candidates for 2021 Sikyong and 17th Tibetan Parliamentary elections Photo/Tenzin Phende/CTA

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