Election Commission holds bilateral meetings with several countries

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New Delhi, Jan 29(ANI): As part of its Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Election Commission of India (ECI) held bilateral meetings with election commissions of several countries for future collaboration.

The Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and Election Commissioners Dr. S.Y. Quraishi and V.S. Sampath held bilateral discussions with Deputy Secretary-General of Commonwealth Mmasegoa Masire-Mwamba, Commissioner of Federal Election Commission, USA, Ellen L. Weinstraub, Deputy Chairperson of Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa, Thoko Nandisile Mpumlwana, Election Commissioner of Mauritius M.I. Abdool Rahman, Chairman of Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya Ahmed Issack Hassan, among others.

During the discussions, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya and Nepal evinced keen interest in the Electronic Voting Machine of the Election Commission of India.

The exchanges with the United States focused on campaign financing, expenditure scrutiny and regulatory provisions.

Improvement of electoral rolls, voters' awareness and education, enforcement of model code of conduct and engagement of technology in improving election management were discussed in the bilateral meetings.

It was agreed to share best practices and expertise to strengthen the cause of free and fair elections across the world.

Several countries requested for the Election Commission's support in training, improvement of skills and human resource development.

Some Heads of Electoral Bodies requested that their personnel should get an exposure to the process of conducting elections in India.

The Commission thanked the dignitaries of various countries for their interest and offered all cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General Masire-Mwamba complimented India's leadership in election management.

She suggested that ECI should play a key role in promotion of democratic process worldwide through the mechanism of the proposed Commonwealth network of election management bodies.

The ECI also organized an international symposium on "Sharing Best Electoral Practices" in which delegates from election commissions of 27 countries, 5 international organizations participated.

The symposium also provided a unique opportunity for bilateral discussions between many countries on the side-lines.

Several countries also expressed the need for a forum for regular interaction and cooperation between the electoral management bodies of the different countries. (ANI)

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