India's poll panel to assist Bhutan in 2008 elections

None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Thimphu
May 24, 2006 08:14 PM IST

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two election commissions on the electoral process, a state-run daily reported.

India's Election Commission will assist Bhutan in preparing for the first national elections in the Himalayan kingdom in 2008, a report on Wednesday said.

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A memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday between the two election commissions on the electoral process, Bhutan's state-run newspaper Kuensel reported.

"The Election Commission of India will help with Indian expertise, the training of Bhutanese people, and materials including voting machines. It will be a long-term relationship," India's Chief Election Commissioner BB Tandon was quoted as saying.

"The judicial system needs to work fast to prevent criminal elements influence the voting," he said.

Tandon, who is on an eight-day visit to Bhutan, has been holding discussions on the issue with top leaders of the kingdom, including King Jigme Singye Wangchuk.

Bhutan's Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said his country would benefit hugely from cooperating with India.

"The exchange of visits, training of Bhutanese election workers, and exposure to the electoral processes in India will go a long way in helping the Election Commission of Bhutan to prepare for the historic elections to be held in 2008," he said.

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