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India to hold 13th presidential election

07-19-2012 15:25 BJT

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India is preparing to choose its 13th President. The post is ceremonial but, a likely win for former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, could bring many changes to the position.

As India’s 13th President has a few days to be elected, this time round the ceremonial position could see some changes.

The two contestants are Congress Party’s Pranab Mukherjee and BJP’s PS Sangma. In India, elected members of the Parliament and legislative assemblies vote for the presidential elections and not people and going by the support Pranab Mukkherjee has support of 60 percent elected members giving him a clear edge. But despite his advantage he is not taking any chances.

Pranab Mukherjee said, "In my long political career spanning over 5 decades I have been fortunate to receive love, affection and I am confident of my party colleagues and members and leaders of other parties. I am deeply indebted to them. I will now again seek their support for the next step."

In India President is the non-executive head - an ornamental position that comes with a palace, which has 360 rooms and 19000 square meter area in the heart of New Delhi. Morning starts with horses and trumpets and evening ends with hundreds of servant serving food. But all these frills come with NO power.

But people who have watched Pranab Mukherjee’s political career know that if he does become India’s next president he will not be a president without influence. The 76-year-old has held many positions in Indian government including finance, defence and foreign minister. Analysts predict he might wield an unusual degree of influence.

Against Pranab Mukherjee stands PS Sanghma, India’s main opposition party BJP’s candidate. PS Sangma is a politician who has held many position but is considered a week candidate against Pranab Mukherjee. But Sangma is riding on India’s rulling party congress’s weekness and he still hoping that the numbers will be magic.

In India even though all executive powers are vested in the prime minister, the president can play a decisive role when elections produce hung parliaments or when state governments are dissolved.

Presidents in India have met with varied success. Abdul Kalam remains unforgotten because of his innovative projects promoting youth and his closeness to the masses, but the current President - Pratibha Patil, the country’s first female president, has been considered rather weak.

India’s new president will take the post officially at the end of July and the results will be announced on Sunday.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CNTV.CN

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