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Presidential Election
July 22, 2007

Patil elected as India's first female President
Pratibha Patil, former Rajasthan Governor, was elected as India''s first woman president on Julty 21 in a contest in which she beat current Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

The 72-year-old Patil, born in the Indian southwestern state of Maharashtra, got a vote value of 638,116 against 83-year-old Shekhawat''s 331,306 votes value in the most bitterly contested presidential election. To many people''s surprise, Patil''s tally was 11,000 more than expected.

After winning the presidential election, Patil''s supporters held various kinds of celebration activities, singing and dancing in some areas of India.

Patil said, "I am grateful to the people of India, man or woman. And this is a victory of principles."

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that it was a special moment for Indian women, adding that she would extend her thanks to the coalition who supported Patil.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh said that Patil''s victory was in favor of unity for this nation. And Lok Sabha ( Lower House of Indian Parliament) Speaker Somnath Chatterjee also congratulated the victory of President-elect Patil.

At the same time, the outgoing President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said that any new president would bring core competency to a nation with one billion population.

Patil, who is to succeed Kalam, will be sworn in on July 25 at the Central Hall of Parliament. Xinhua

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