Today's Paper

Election on July 19, new President on July 25

J. Venkatesan

New President on July 25

Notification to be issued on June 16Last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 4

NEW DELHI: The 13th Presidential election will be held on July 19, the Election Commission declared on Wednesday. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's term ends on July 24 and the new President will assume office the next day.

Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami, flanked by Commissioners Navin Chawla and S.Y. Quraishi, made the announcement at a press conference here.

The election schedule is: notification on June 16; last date for filing of nominations June 30; scrutiny of nominations July 2; last date for withdrawal of applications July 4; poll date, if necessary, on July 19 and counting of votes July 21.

Mr. Gopalaswami said: "Article 324 of the Constitution, read with the Presidential and Vice - Presidential Elections Act, 1952, and the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974, vests the superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of election to the office of the President of India in the Election Commission of India.

"The Commission is mandated to ensure that the election to the office of the President of India, which is the highest elective office in the nation, must be a free and fair election and the Commission is taking all necessary steps for discharging its responsibility."

Electoral college

The President is elected by an electoral college that comprises all elected Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies.

The election will be held in accordance with the system of "Proportional Representation" by means of single transferable vote. The voting shall be by secret ballot. A total of 776 Members of Parliament (543 from the Lok Sabha and 233 from the Rajya Sabha) and 4,120 Members of Assemblies of States and Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry are eligible to vote.

Normally, MPs cast their vote in New Delhi and MLAs in State capitals. However, in case of emergencies or special circumstances, MPs could vote in State capitals/Delhi/Puducherry. Similarly, an MLA could vote in New Delhi. The Election Commission, in consultation with the Union Government, decided to appoint the Lok Sabha Secretary-General the Returning Officer, Mr. Gopalaswami said.

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