NEW DELHI: Indian national and state lawmakers voted on Thursday for a new president, with former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee seen as a certainty to take up the mainly ceremonial post. Mukherjee, the candidate of the ruling Congress-led alliance, is a respected conciliator, and as head of state he may play a role in who governs India after the general election due in 2014. The president oversees the formation of a new government when no party wins a clear majority, and most observers predict a close result at the next polls given the poor economic outlook and the Congress administration’s struggles. The outcome of the vote will be announced Sunday, but Mukherjee, 76, has far more support than his rival, former parliamentary speaker P.A. Sangma.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.