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India to help Nepal manage polls

world Updated: Jun 08, 2011 01:52 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal is yet to decide on the type of electoral process it will adopt in its new constitution, but the country inked a deal with India on Tuesday to promote cooperation in electoral management. A MoU in this regard was signed by Chief Election Commissioner of India Dr SY Quraishi and his Nepali counterpart Neel Kantha Uprety.

The former is on a visit to Nepal on Uprety’s invitation.

“We have been sharing our experiences over the years but the MoU was to formalize cooperation in electoral management and administration,” said Quraishi after signing the agreement.

The MoU will deal with promotion of initiatives designed to strengthen electoral systems and democratic institutions and exchange of organisational knowledge and technical development.

Both countries will exchange information, material, expertise and technical knowhow relating to electoral processes and systems besides training of personnel and human resource development.

Dissemination of materials pertaining to electoral systems, voting technology and voter education and awareness are some other issues covered by the agreement. Quraishi who delivered a talk later on elections in India, however, refrained from suggesting what model of electoral system Nepal should adopt in its new constitution that is being drafted.

India had provided electronic voting machines as part of a pilot project in Kathmandu Valley during the 2008 election to the Constituent Assembly and also in the by-elections held a year later.

Nepal would go for another election after drafting of the constitution and the help and expertise provided by India as part of the MoU would be important in conducting it in a free and fair manner.