New Delhi: The Election Commission will organise an international election visitors programme (IEVP) for foreign poll management bodies in virtual mode on March 7 when Uttar Pradesh votes for the last phase of assembly polls.
The programme constitutes an important part of the EC's international outreach and seeks to familiarise fellow election management bodies (EMBs) with the electoral system and processes adopted in the world's largest democracy.
IEVP 2022 also provides an opportunity to the EC to share best practices and experience of the conduct of the poll process along with the steps taken to ensure compliance of COVID-19 protocols, an EC statement said.
In the ongoing legislative assembly elections in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, there is a combined electorate of 183.4 million (one million is equal to ten lakhs), one of the largest to vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
While voting has been completed in Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur, the seventh and last phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held on Monday.
More than 135 delegates from over 26 countries across the world including Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Croatia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Maldives, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Romania, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Suriname, Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Zambia and four international organisations including International IDEA, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and Community of Democracies are going to participate in the event.
Ambassadors, high commissioners and other members of the diplomatic corps based in India from 20 countries have also been invited to participate in the virtual event, the statement said.
The participants will be showcased a recorded broadcast from select polling stations in each of the five states where polls have taken place as well as live streaming from polling stations in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) on Monday. The programme includes familiarisation of participants with the electoral process, polling station arrangements, use of technology, interaction with various stakeholders followed by a question and answer session.
The poll panel had organised similar programmes in the past.