The incumbent leader of Tibetans living in exile was re-elected to head the parliament that works out of Dharamshala in India, according to the results announced by the election commission of the Central Tibetan Administration on Wednesday. Lobsang Sangay won the elections with a 57% vote share of the 59,353 votes cast by Tibetans living across the world and was chosen as the "Sikyong," or the prime minister.
Sangay secured 33,876 votes, beating rival and Tibetan parliament Speaker Penpa Tsering by 10,000 votes, according to the election data shared with International Business Times India.The voting was held on March 20 for thousands of Tibetans living in exile in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Taiwan, Japan, South Africa, Australia, America and Europe to elect not only the Sikyong but also the 45 members of Parliament, or "Chitues."
While the official results were declared on Wednesday, Tibetan media had speculated his victory last month as votes were being counted.
This is the second such election since 2011 when the 14th Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual head of Tibetans, resigned from his political role. However, the Tibet government in exile is not officially recognised by other nations.
The Dalai Lama had fled Chinese rule in 1959 along with thousands of his followers and settled in India, from where he ran the government in exile. In 2011, the 80-year-old spiritual leader relinquished his political duties to ensure that the Tibetan movement sustained even after him.