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SAARC poll bodies' meet in Delhi from April 30

Delhi,Diplomacy,Politics, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Election Commission of India will host the third Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies of SAARC Countries from April 30 to May 2 here.


Chief election commissioners and other senior poll officials from Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan and India will take part in the event to share their best election administration and management practices.


Topics such as empowerment of election management bodies, inclusive elections (covering gender issues, marginalised sections and minorities), voter education, controlling money power and use of technology for cost-effective polls would be discussed at the meet, Akshay Rout, director general of the Election Commission, told reporters Friday.


He said the officials would also discuss the final shape of the Forum of SAARC Election Management Bodies, which was approved in principle at the last conference in Islamabad, he said.


During the meet, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi will also lay the foundation stone of a new campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management at Dwarka here.


The idea to hold such a poll conference was born in April 2010, during the 37th Session of the Standing Committee of SAARC in Thimphu, Bhutan.


Bangladesh hosted the first conference in May 2010, where talks were first held on creating a forum of SAARC poll bodies.


In 2011, the Election Commission of Pakistan hosted the conference.


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