WASHINGTON, DC, 15 May 2021
The United States has congratulated Penpa Tsering on his election as the next Sikyong/President of Dharamshala-based Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
“The United States congratulates Penpa Tsering on his election as the Central Tibetan Administration’s (CTA) next Sikyong. We look forward to working with him and the CTA to support the global Tibetan diaspora,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a tweet.
This comes after the Tibetan Election Commission formally declared former Speaker Penpa Tsering as the next president of the Tibetan government-in-exile, officially called the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). The president is known as the “sikyong” in the Tibetan language.
On Friday, the election commission said there was a voter turnout of 63,991 (77.02 per cent) out of a total number of 83,080 registered voters, making this the highest turnout in the history of Tibetan elections in exile.
Penpa secured 34,324 votes, while the only other candidate in the fray, Kelsang Dorjee Aukatsang, secured 28,907 in a closely fought election worldwide on 11 April, according to the International Campaign for Tibet.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay congratulated new Sikyong-elect Penpa Tsering and 45 new members elected to the 17th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile after the official results of the 2021 elections were declared this afternoon.
Sangay who has held the office for two consecutive terms said he had spoken to Penpa Tsering to congratulate him on the election victory and offered his full cooperation to ensure a smooth transition of power.
Tibet is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party government based in Beijing, with local decision-making power concentrated in the hands of Chinese party officials. Tibet was a sovereign state before China’s invasion in 1950 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered northern Tibet.