New Delhi: Elections to choose the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) are underway with the results expected to be announced by November 4. Candidates of four countries are in the fray–Portugal’s Duarte Pacheco, Pakistan’s Muhammad Sanjrani, Uzbekistan’s Akmal Saidov and Canada’s Pakistani origin Salma Ataullahjan.

According to officials, India is set to oppose Pakistan’s candidature and may back Portugal’s Duarte Pacheco or Akmal Saidov from Uzbekistan over Muhammad Sanjrani from Pakistan.

IPU, based in Geneva is a body consisting of representatives from the National Parliaments of 179 countries. Each national parliament sends three of its legislatures to represent the country whenever the meeting of IPU takes place. 

The Governing Council is meeting virtually amid the COVID-19 crisis from first to November 4 and will be voting virtually. The elections will take place through a remote electronic secret ballot.

The Indian Parliamentary Delegation is led by Speaker of the Lok Sabha Om Birla and Poonamben Hematbhai Maadam and Swapan Dasgupta both legislators in the Indian Parliament. Secretary-General of the lower house of Parliament (Lok Sabha), Snehlata Shrivastava and Secretary-General of the upper house of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Deepak Verma will also attend the virtual session.

The term of the new IPU president will be from 2020-2023. The Previous IPU President was Mexican MP Gabriela Cuevas Barron who completed the tenure in Oct.

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