How Is The President Of India Elected?

The presidential election to decide the successor of APJ Abdul Kalam will be held next month. The President of India is the head of state and first citizen of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces. The President’s role is largely ceremonial, with real executive authority vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister.

Who can become the President?

A citizen of India who is of 35 years of age or above may be a Presidential candidate. The Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of the Lok Sabha and should not hold any office of profit under the government. Certain office-holders, for example, the current Vice-President, the Governor of any State or a minister of the union or of any State, however, are permitted to stand as Presidential candidates.

Election of the President

The President of India is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of the Parliament and the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies. The election uses the Single Transferable Vote method of proportional representation. Voting takes place by secret ballot.

The total number of votes cast by Members of Parliament equals the total number of votes cast by State Legislators. The actual calculation for votes cast by a particular state is calculated by dividing the state’s population by 1000, which is divided again by the number of legislators from the State voting in the Electoral College. This number is the number of votes per legislator in a given state. For votes cast by those in Parliament, the total number of votes cast by all state legislators is divided by the number of members of both Houses of Parliament. This is the number of votes per member of either house of Parliament. The President is elected for a five year term.

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Constitutional role

Article 53(1) vests in the President the executive powers of the Union . The powers of the President are intended to be similar to those of the British Crown, in that he would ‘reign and not rule’.

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