New Delhi: A delegation of Permanent Representatives to the United Nations from twelve countries, namely Equatorial Guinea, Comoros, Niger, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Malta, Marshal Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia, Eswatini, Zambia and Kiribati visited the Election Commission of India today. The delegation is visiting India from 22-28 August 2018 under the sponsorship of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The delegation met Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa and exchanged views on the best practices of the Indian Electoral system.
Shri Ashok Lavasa in his address to the Permanent Representatives stated that globalisation and deepening of roots of democracy worldwide have been the most significant developments in recent years. He said that by constructive collaboration many a challenges have been overcome. Referring to the strengths of participative method of decision making in democracy and the fact that even the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by UN member countries, recognising capacity building and strengthening of institutions as one of the significant goals, the Election Commission of India has been contributing its bit in ensuring efficient, peaceful election management system in India.
Election Commissioner Shri Lavasa mentioned that challenges facing ECI include (i) striving to ensure inclusive electoral roll given the magnitude of population; (ii) use of technology; (iii) abuse of social media and (iv)misuse of money power. He stated that ECI has always believed in consultative process with all stakeholders and has been successful in holding free, fair and credible elections year after year. On ECI’s active international outreach programme, he mentioned that ECI’s contacts with Election Management Bodies abroad have been expanding and ECI has been sharing best practices, experience and innovations with other countries for mutual benefit.
Shri Umesh Sinha, Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner, ECI welcomed the distinguished guests at the ECI and briefed the delegates about the election process in India and the international cooperation programme of the ECI. He gave a presentation about the structure, role and work of ECI in managing the largest election exercise in the world. A short film on Parliamentary Election 2014 was also screened for the delegation followed by a Question and Answer session addressing various queries from the delegates. A live and hands-on demonstration of the working of Electronic Voting Machines and the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail was also arranged for the delegation.
The briefing session was also attended by Mr. Dhirendra Ojha, Director General, ECI; and Ms. Padma Angmo, Director, ECI.