India to provide 'wonder' EVMs to Egypt

Cairo, April 22: Describing EVMs as wonder machines of democracy, India has said it would provide these electronic devices to Egypt to assist in its electoral process in the post-Mubarak era.

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, who is on a 5-day visit to Egypt to apprise top officials in the country about India's electoral system and the usage of EVMs, however, said India does not support international monitoring of elections and hence would not participate in monitoring polls in this North African country.

"India is glad to lend Egypt its machines since there is not enough time left before elections," Quraishi, who is accompanied by a five-member team, told reporters after a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Justice and Communication and two counsellors.

Egypt's military rulers had last month announced an interim Constitution and said presidential elections would be held by November after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February.

Quraishi hailed the relations between the two countries where "the most ancient civilizations can be found", noting that Egypt was at the crossroad of democracy.

He said India was ready to offer all its experience to the "budding" democracy in Egypt.

Quraishi called the Electronic Voting Machine as "the wonder machine of democracy" and said it had "revolutionised" elections in India.

The elections in Egypt later this year would be the second presidential polls in its history, following the 2005 exercise.

Mubarak, who was forced to quit in February, had been President since 1981 following the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

Potential candidates for the top post include Mohamed ElBaradei, ex-Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Amr Moussa, current Secretary-General of the Arab League; and Ahmed Zewail, an Egyptian-American scientist and winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, among others.


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