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India names finance minister to be new president

Associated Press Published: June 15, 2012

NEW DELHI (AP) — India will soon have a new finance minister as it battles an economic slowdown.

The governing coalition nominated current Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the ceremonial Indian presidency. The election will be next month if opposition parties have a candidate to run against him.

In India, the prime minister holds the most powerful political office.

Congress party chairperson Sonia Gandhi appealed to lawmakers Friday to elect Mukherjee for a five-year term.

His successor as finance minister will face a strong challenge as the 5.3 percent economic growth in the last quarter was India's slowest rate in nine years.