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Exiled Tibetans elect Harvard professor as PM
MCLEODGANJ, Apr 27 (Agencies):
Published on 28 Apr. 2011 1:07 AM IST
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An India-born 43-year-old Harvard Law School associate professor Dr Lobsang Sangay, whom China has dubbed as a “terrorist”, was elected as the prime minister of Tibetan government-in-exile on Wednesday.
Sangay may have to shoulder most of the responsibilities the Dalai Lama is abdicating.
A section of Tibetans feels Sangay could be effective as he comes from the same school as the US president Barack Obama and has a massive network of contacts to push the Tibetan cause.
The chief election commissioner of Tibet government-in-exile Jampal Choesang announced the result- Dr Sangay got 27021 votes and 55% vote share out of a total of 49184 votes polled in the March 20 election across the globe. Voting for the prime minister took place in around 90 countries with India, Nepal, Bhutan, Europe and US having the largest number of voters.
Sangay defeated his nearest rival Tenzin Namgyal Tethong by around 8500 votes. Tethong got 18,405 votes and the third candidate Tashi Wangdi got 3173 votes.
Sangay had been maintaining his lead of around 10,000 votes since primaries were held in October. One of the MPs said Sangay was the only candidate who went to almost all major polling stations. His campaign was more organized.
The CEC said that due to the pressure from the Chinese, 13941 voters in Nepal could not vote. However, the voters in Bhutan could exercise their franchise.
The new prime minister will replace a scholar professor Samdhong Rimpoche who has completed his two terms of five years each. The prime minister-elect is still in the USA and may reach India in May to get a briefing from senior leaders. He will officially take over on August 15, a day after the present PM’s term ends.
Realising his responsibility, Dr Sangay has already started networking through his Harvard contacts. However, Sangay’s election may affect the redrafting of the Tibetan constitution forced due to the Dalai Lama relinquishing his temporal responsibilities. A lot of them are likely to be taken by Sangay.
Election for 43 seats of the parliament were also announced. The new House will be formed from May 30.
Sangay was born on March 10, 1968 at Darjeeling. He did his early schooling at the hill station and did his law graduation and post graduation from Delhi University before moving for doctoral studies to Harvard. He has been holding international conferences involving Chinese expatriates on the issue of Tibet.

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