Explained: How the vice-president of India is elected?
Parliamentarians will vote on Saturday to elect the next vice-president of India in a contest of competing ideologies between NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar and Opposition nominee Margaret Alva amid a bitter political battle. The polling will take place at the Parliament House between 10 am and 5 pm and votes will be counted on the same day itself while the next vice-president will take the oath of office on August 11 – a day after the term of the incumbent V-P M Venakish Naidu ends.
The numbers in the vice-presidential election are heavily stacked in Dhankhar's favour, and it remains to be seen whether the Opposition will be hit by cross-voting again, as was witnessed in the Presidential election last month.
Who elects the vice-president of India?
The vice-president is elected by an electoral college. Members of both Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, make up the electoral college. The election is conducted using the proportional representation system and a single transferable vote. The voting is held through a secret ballot.
Nominated members of Parliament can’t vote in the Presidential election. But they can do so to elect the vice-president.
The electoral college for the election of the vice-president consists of the following members:
Rajya Sabha: Elected = 233, nominated = 12
Lok Sabha: Elected = 543, nominated = 2
Total = 790
A candidate needs 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders for his nomination. The candidate also has to make a security deposit of ₹15,000.
Who can become vice-president?
A person must be at least 35 years old to be considered for the position of vice-president. They must also be Indian citizens and fulfil all of the requirements for membership in the Rajya Sabha. If a person holds a profit-making position with the government of India or a state government, they are no longer eligible to become a Vice-President.
How votes are counted?
The number of first-choice votes received by each candidate is determined.
The calculated numbers are added together; the total is divided by two, and one is added to the quotient, disregarding any remainder. The resulting number is the quota required for a candidate to run in the election.
If the total number of votes credited to any candidate at the end of the first or any subsequent count is equal to or greater than the quota, that candidate is declared elected.