(Reuters) - Tibetan exiles elected a Harvard law scholar as their political leader, who is likely to bring in a more radical government-in-exile to challenge China after the Dalai Lama moved to relinquish his political role.
The new prime minister, the 42-year old Lobsang Sangay, polled 27,051 votes, 55 percent of the total electorate, to beat two other secular candidates.
"The Election Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has declared Dr Lobsang Sangay as the third kalon tripa," Chief Election Commissioner Jampal Thosang told a news conference, using the Tibetan title for the prime minister.
The handover of power will give the prime minister's role greater clout as the region seeks autonomy from China and could stave off a possible crisis of leadership in the event of the Dalai Lama's death.
Sangay has earlier hinted he could move beyond the Dalai Lama's "middle way" policy of negotiating for autonomy for Tibet from China. As a student in New Delhi, he was a leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which demands complete independence.