Where: New Delhi, India
March 2, 2009 : India is set to go to the polls to elect a new government. The Chief Election Commissioner Mr. N. Gopalaswami announced the schedule for the General Elections. The country will elect 543 members to the Lok Sabha, or the House of the People, in Parliament. Voting will take place on five days; April 16, April 23, April 30, May 7 and May 13, 2009. Counting of votes will take place on May 16, 2009 and results will be announced immediately. The number of voters is estimated to be 714 million. All 28 states and seven union territories will elect their representatives.
The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are chosen from the elected members of the Lok Sabha. General Elections are held once in five years. The 14th Lok Sabha completes its term on June 1, 2009 and the new house will have to be constituted by then.
The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines laid down by the Election Commission for political parties and candidates before an election. It aims at providing a fair chance to all candidates and ensuring that no party in power at the Centre or in the states misuses its position. The code of conduct comes into effect as soon as the election is announced and remains in force till the results are declared.