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UN curious about geospatial practices in Indian polls

New Delhi, India: As Egypt prepares for a transition to democracy, United Nations Development Programme has invited Election Commission of India (ECI) for a meeting in Cairo. Discussions will be held to provide help to countries in the Arab region, including Egypt and Tunisia, in holding elections.

According to S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, Egyptians wanted to know about SMS, GIS and GPS used by ECI to track elections, and also about indelible ink. Quraishi suggested Egypt should develop its own Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). “We can help with technology and know-how,” he said.

The Egyptians also wanted to know about ECI’s voters’ education and awareness programmes in light of poor turnout at their polls. Even in March, a month after president Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising, the turnout for a referendum on constitutional reforms was only 40 percent. ECI is about to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Egypt for cooperation in election management and administration.

Mexico and South Africa are the other countries invited for the two-day meet that will be held on May 2-3. It is aimed at identifying capacity, knowledge gaps and support required by election management bodies of countries like Egypt and Tunisia.

Source: TOI