Pakistan will hold a presidential election on October 6 when president and army chief General Pervez Musharraf will seek a fresh mandate from parliament and the provincial assemblies for five more years in power.
Musharraf is almost certain to win as ruling coalition parties have a majority, and more than 160 opposition lawmakers have resigned from parliament and the provincial assemblies to protest against Musharraf running while still military chief.
Musharraf has promised to resign from the army and be sworn in as a civilian president by November 15, if he is re-elected.
Parliament's term ends in mid-November, and a general election should be held by mid-January.
Traditionally, presidents have been figureheads in Pakistan, with prime ministers holding the real power. But at various times, including under Musharraf, constitutions have been amended to give the president more power.
Following are some facts about presidential elections in Pakistan:
-- Presidents are elected by an electoral college made up of members of the two houses of parliament -- the 342-seat lower house National Assembly and the 100-member upper house Senate -- and members of assemblies in Pakistan's four provinces -- Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier and Baluchistan.
-- The vote will be held at the same time in all of the assemblies, beginning at 10 a.m. (0500 GMT) on October 6.
-- The vote is by secret ballot
-- The candidate who obtains the largest number of votes is declared elected president for a period of five years.
-- Musharraf is Pakistan's 11th president since 1956, when the country became a republic.