India and Egypt today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in New Delhi, to establish an institutional framework for their ongoing cooperation in the field of election management and administration.
The MOU was signed by the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri V.S. Sampath and the Secretary General of the Supreme Presidential Election Committee of Egypt, Justice Hatem Bagato. Election Commissioners, Shri H. S. Brahma and Dr. S.N.A. Zaidi, diplomats and senior officials of the Election Commission of India and Government of India were present at the signing ceremony.
The major aims of MoU are: promotion of exchanges of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development, with a view to strengthening the administration of electoral processes; exchange of information, material, expertise and technical know how relating to electoral processes and systems; training of personnel and development of human resources, and organizational development and capacity building.
Shri H.S. Brahma, Election Commissioner, in his welcome address, commended the recent rapid strides in election management and administration made by Egypt and expressed confidence that the MoU would pave the way for effective cooperation between the two institutions and will benefit other countries as well.
Shri Sampath expressed the confidence that the MoU would facilitate sharing of best practices, skills and experiences between the two institutions for mutual benefit. He described the MoU as an extremely suitable mechanism for strengthening and carrying forward mutual collaboration in electoral management and administration. He commended the Egyptian Committee for the competence with which the recent Presidential election in Egypt was conducted in the most challenging circumstances. He also offered the Egyptian side to send nominations of its election officials to participate in a special international training course for mid-career election officials which the ECI will organize from 8th to 20th October, 2012 under the ITEC programme of the Government of India.
Justice Bagato stated that India is one of the first countries with which Egypt is seeking to establish sound and comprenhensive cooperation in the field of electoral management. He also stated that this MoU is a first step in mutual cooperation and is another building block in the longstandiing relations between Egypt and India and it will serve as a framework, setting guidelines on how to maximize the benefits that both sides can get from such collaboration.
Election Commission of India has so far signed thirteen MOUs with Election Management Bodies and international organizations across the world. India and Egypt are already collaborating in the areas of Electronic Voting, Voters Education and Election Tracking Technology. At the request of the Egyptian delegation, they were also given a detailed briefing and demonstration in the ECI, on the working of the Electronic Voting Machine.