Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Asia-pacific

India's former finance minister elected president

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-22

India’s former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee came out victorious in the country’s presidential election on Sunday after scooping up more than half of the votes from both national and state lawmakers.

AFP - Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was elected Indian president on Sunday after votes from national and state lawmakers were counted in the race for the mainly ceremonial post.

Some analysts believe Mukherjee, a veteran from the ruling Congress party, may take a more active approach to the job than his predecessors as India struggles with a parliamentary deadlock and slowing economic growth.

The PTI news agency announced Mukherjee, 76, as the winner after he collected more than half of the electoral college votes during counting on Sunday.

He easily beat his only rival P.A. Sangma, 64, a former lower house speaker who was backed by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

India's president, who lives in a 340-room palace in New Delhi built for the British Viceroy during colonial rule, is chosen by legislators from the two houses of parliament and state assemblies.

Under the constitution, the prime minister wields most of the executive power, but the president can play a guiding role in the process of forming governments.

The next general election, due to be held in 2014, is predicted to be close, leading to a period of complex horse-trading between numerous national and regional parties trying to form a stable coalition government.

"It's in this turbulent scenario Mukherjee as a president will be able to steer the ship of the state. He's a troubleshooter," said Sanjay Kumar, an analyst at India's Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Mukherjee, a canny operator renown for his negotiating skills, may also try to use the presidential position to foster a behind-the-scenes deal between warring parties who have reduced parliament to a stalemate in recent sessions.

Despite the president being a neutral figure above party politics, his success on Sunday was a welcome victory for the embattled Congress party, which has been beset by a string of graft scandals and poor economic data.

Mukherjee commands respect across party lines, but his performance as finance minister was criticised for his failure to push through reforms to further liberalise India's economy.

His exit from the ministry has raised investors' hopes that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has taken over the finance portfolio, could embark on long-awaited moves such as opening up the giant retail sector to foreign investment.

Mukherjee will be formally sworn in on Wednesday, taking over for a five-year term from Pratibha Patil, India's first woman president.
 

Date created : 2012-07-22

  • India

    Ex-minister faces trial in landmark corruption scandal

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)