India’s Ruling Coalition Nominates Finance Minister for President

Posted June 15th, 2012 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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India's ruling coalition has nominated the country's finance minister to serve as the next president.

The coalition, led by the Congress Party, on Friday chose Pranab Mukherjee as its candidate. The election will be next month, if opposition parties have a candidate to run against him.

In India, the president's post is largely ceremonial and is currently held by Pratibha Patil, whose five-year term is ending.

Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi appealed to lawmakers Friday to support Mukherjee's candidacy. The finance minister is expected to step down from that post later this month. It is unclear who will be named to replace him.

Mukherjee's successor as finance minister faces a strong challenge. India's economy is struggling with high inflation and lagging growth. In the January-March period, India's economy grew by just 5.3 percent, the slowest rate in nine years.