Indo-US coop on election management in other nations

India and the United States today shared electoral management skills between the two countries as a US delegation held discussions with top officials of the Election Commission.

A six-member American delegation led by US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Maria Otero met Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and the two Election Commissioners V S Sampath and H S Brahma and held discussions on taking forward the collaboration between the two countries in the field of election management and democracy promotion.

Today's meeting comes in the wake of the India-USA strategic dialogue joint statement issued during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit in July last year when the two countries had reiterated their commitment to work together to strengthen election management capacity in interested countries.

These interactions started following US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's joint initiative for a global strategic partnership in their joint statement in November 2010 when the two pledged to explore cooperation in support of efforts to strengthen elections organisation and management in other interested countries, including through sharing their expertise in this area.

The American delegation asked the EC to help strengthen election-based democratic bodies in other Afro-Asian countries, especially in the Middle East.

"We value the technical collaboration between India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) and the International Foundation of Electoral System (IFES). IFES will help the EC in assessing the need of other countries in the field of election management and help devise courses for them.

"IIDEM has now developed a six-module curriculum for international election courses, which will be offered to democratic countries and their election management bodies and IFES will help facilitate other countries to take training in IIDEM," said Akshay Raut, EC's Director General and incharge of IIDEM. 

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