The incumbent Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, on Wednesday congratulated his successor Lobsang Sangay, a media report said.
“I very heartily congratulate him. I wish a great success for his tenure,” Rinpoche was quoted as saying by ANI.
In 2001, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche became the first directly elected prime minister after the Dalai Lama, as part of an effort to further democratize the Tibetan polity towards the late 1990’s, called for a directly “elected political leader” of the Tibetans living in exile.
Rinpoche is currently running his second consecutive term in the office after he secured a landslide victory in the 2006 elections receiving more than 29,000 votes (90.72%) of the total votes cast.
Rinpoche is expected to complete his term in August this year. Like other democratic countries, the charter of the Tibetan exiles bars a candidate from serving more than two consecutive terms.
The Tibetan Government-in-Exile has been based in India since it was re-established outside Tibet since the Dalai Lama and the first wave of refugees fled Tibet in 1959, soon after Chinese occupied the country.
The election commmissioner of the Tibet’s government in exile Tuesday declared Sangay as the next Kalon Tripa or the Tibet’s prime minister in exile.
Harvard law scholar Dr. Lobsang Sangay was earlier today elected the new ‘Kalon Tripa’ or the Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile.
Forty-two-year-old Harvard law scholar Sangay secured 27,051 votes (55 percent) of the total votes cast in the elections held last month.
Sangay was in the United States when the results were announced. As the Prime Minister, he will head to Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
With the election victory, Dr Sangay is not only set to become the third directly-elected Tibetan PM, but will mark the first democratic transfer of executive power in the history of the Tibetan nation.