Poll panel invites Pakistan to global meet on voter education

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) has invited Pakistan, besides dozens of other countries, to an international conference on voter education being held in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here this week.

However, Pakistan has not confirmed its participation for the October 19-21 conference.

“This is the first ever global conference on voter education for inclusive, informed and ethical participation in the electoral process,” Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said.

“The main purpose of the conference is to learn from the experiences of election management bodies (EMBs), government and non-government by way of sharing the best practices, policies and initiatives of voter education,” he added.

Sinha said that representatives of election bodies from 27 countries are likely to participate in the conference.

The countries which have confirmed their participation include the United States, Canada, Australia, Afghanistan, Brazil, Fiji, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Namibia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and Uganda.

Pakistan has been invited for the conference but has not responded so far, Sinha said in response to a query.

Of the international delegations, nine are being headed by their respective chairpersons, eight by the election commissioners and 10 by other senior officials, Sinha said.

The special invitees to the conference are the former Chief Election Commissioners of India, the State Election Commissioners and the Chief Electoral Officers from all the states.

“The conference will deliberate upon five topics ranging from electoral literacy to enhanced participation by special categories of voters, role of modern information and communication technologies in voter education and strategies for informed and ethical voting,” Sinha said.



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