Indian election officials help Maldives EC in conducting polls

Indian election officials help Maldives EC in conducting polls

Ahead of the crucial Presidential polls, election officials of India and Maldives today prepared a roadmap for future cooperation to improve voter confidence and reduce election related complaints in the island nation.

A team of senior officers of Election Commission of India (ECI), comprising of Dr Alok Shukla, Deputy Election Commissioner of India and Umesh Sinha, Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh, arrived in Maldives earlier this week at the request of the Election Commission of Maldives (ECM) to study its functioning and to make recommendations.

The team of Indian officials today presented detailed recommendations to ECM, including a roadmap for future cooperation between ECM and ECI, a joint press statement said.
According to this roadmap ECM shall nominate one nodal officer who will work with ECI to develop a detailed project for assistance by ECI. The project shall be submitted by ECM to ECI through the Government of Maldives, the statement said.

The Project will be appraised by ECI and submitted to Government of India for execution.
The Indian officials studied the functioning of ECM and made recommendations to it to prepare for the Presidential elections and the Local Council elections in 2013 by strengthening weak areas of Commission Administration.

The Indian officials also made recommendations to identify new processes and methodologies for ECM to improve voter confidence and reduce election related complaints, the joint statement said.

The two sides also agreed on ways for joint cooperation in the future.

Chairman and members of Elections Commission of the Maldives met the Indian officials earlier this week and explained to them the vision and concerns of ECM.

The Election Commission of Maldives specially asked the the ECI team to suggest measures for better implementation of the strategic plan of the Commission, the statement said.

As part of the exercise, the Indian officials held detailed discussions with the sections heads and other staff of ECM, it said.

ECI team also visited two islands, Mamigili and Fenfushi and met with the chairman and members of local councils of these two islands.

Maldives is to hold presidential polls on September 7, the first since the archipelago's first democratically elected leader Mohamed Nasheed was toppled in what he called a coup.
Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of Maldives in 2008. He resigned a year ago after weeks of public protests. His deputy, Mohammed Waheed, succeeded him.