The election for India's next Vice President to succeed Mohammad Hamid Ansari will be held on August 5 and counting of votes will be done on the same day, the Election Commission announced on Thursday.
Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi said, "The date of polling, if required, will be August 5. Counting, if required, will be done on August 5."
Zaidi said the election will be held between 10 am and 5 pm.
The chief election commissioner said that filing of nomination will begin on July 4 with the issue of notification. The last date for filing nomination is July 18, while scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on July 19. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is July 21.
Hamid Ansari has been Vice President and ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha from August 11, 2007. He won the second term on August 11, 2012. His current term ends on August 10.
"The EC is mandated to ensure that the election for the office of Vice President of India is free and fair," Zaidi said.
Zaidi said the Vice President is elected by members of the Electoral College consisting of members of both the Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.
He said the nominated members of Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha are also eligible to be included in the Electoral College and therefore entitled to participate in the election.
"For the Vice President's election in Rajya Sabha, there are 233 members and 12 nominated members. Similarly, in Lok Sabha there are 543 members and nominated members are two. The total number of members of the Electoral College is 790," Zaidi said.
He further said a nomination paper has to be backed by at least 20 electors as proposers and at least 20 electors as seconders.
The Chief Election Commissioner said the electors will be provided "special pens" to cast their ballot and use of any other pen will render the vote invalid.
The Chief Election Commissioner said the Vice Presidential election will take place through secret ballot and political parties "cannot issue any whip" to their respective MPs.
The Election Commission in consultation with the government has decided to appoint the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, Shumsher Sheriff, as returning officer for the election.