Heads and Representatives of 20 Election Management Bodies (EMBs) from across the World, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, Srilanka, Suriname, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) have arrived in New Delhi to witness the ongoing General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha. More than 65 such delegates have been invited by Election Commission of India to join the Election Visitors Program.
Addressing the participants, the Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora lauded the foresight and vision of forefathers of Indian Constitution in establishing the Election Commission of India a day before the promulgation of the Republic. While quoting from Article 324 of the Constitution of India, Sh Arora reiterated that Election Commission of India is firmly committed to ensure free, fair and robust elections in the country. He added that Election Commission of India had never been deterred by the sceptics & critics and as always, is committed to function as per the principles and ideals enshrined in the Constitution of India by our visionary forefathers. “The objective and intention of the Commission is to always keep learning from the experiences of the past for necessary course corrections for the future” Shri Arora emphasised.
Citing vignettes from recent phases of election coverage, Shri Arora said further efforts would be made to make the election process more robust, ethical, inclusive, accessible and participative. CEC announced that Committees will be set up to study best practices from the States, document issues and challenges faced; further improve upon procedural measures to strengthen learnings from these Elections and identify critical gaps if any. Shri Arora also highlighted the recent IT initiatives taken and particularly the effectiveness of c-Vigil Application of the ECI which has truly empowered the citizens in help reporting instances of violations of MCC and play critical role in the entire electoral process.
The delegates visited various polling stations in North West Delhi, East Delhi, Chandni Chowk. South Delhi and Gurgaon through the day to see the polling-in –action and the festive air that surrounds polling. They visited some polling stations which are managed entirely by women polling staff as also some model polling stations with the best of facilities for the voters.
The Delegates also included a team of 6 Members and 9 Sr. Election officers from Election Commission of Myanmar visiting India as part of training program being conducted by the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) under the sponsorship of the Ministry of External Affairs.