The Fijian Elections Office [FEO] and the Election Commission of India [ECI] signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] today at a signing ceremony at the Hotel Taj Mahal in New Delhi, India.
Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Mohammed Saneem, signed the MoU with the ECI Election Commissioner, Mr. O.P. Rawat before various high level dignitaries from the electoral world who are attending the International Seminar on ‘Strategy for Empowering Young and Future Voters.’
“The ECI manages the national elections for well over 800 million voters which effectively makes India the world’s largest democracy and it is a privilege for the FEO to form this partnership with the Commission,” said Mr. Saneem, after the signing of the MOU. “The FEO and the ECI already share good relations and collaborations. It is only apt to expand it further through a MoU.”
The MoU will provide the FEO and the ECI a platform to:
- Promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the field of organisational and technical development of electoral processes, with a view to developing the practice of management and administration;
- Exchange information, materials, expertise, technical knowledge and skills relating to electoral processes and systems;
- Strengthen Institutions and build capacity through human resource development;
- Facilitate relationships with other electoral authorities and organisations.
“It has been only three  years since the FEO was formed. We are strategically forming partnerships with other more established Election Management Bodies [EMBs] so that the FEO gains access to platforms for best practices sharing, as well as stay abreast of developments in election management,” explained Mr. Saneem. “The FEO has already participated in various training programmes and seminars at the ECI and through this MOU, we will try to bring more resource personnel to Fiji.”
“Dr. Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner, and his team are very active in enhancing the participation and education of voters, and have taken a global approach to this important function which definitely interests us at the FEO,” added Mr. Saneem.
In October 2016, the FEO participated in the first Global International Seminar on Voter Education and has been contributing to the Voter Information, Communication and Education Network [VoICE.NET], which is a common platform for EMBs globally to share best practices in voter education.
Mr. Mohammed Saneem, applauded the expertise and professionalism of the ECI in conducting the largest elections globally. He also praised the ECI for its successful ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ [SVEEP] programme which resulted in an increase in voter participation in the 2014 General Election by over 125 million voters, as well as recording the highest ever turnout in the Indian National Election.
The Supervisor of Elections will also be speaking about the success of the FEO’s Annual National School Voter Registration Drive at the International Seminar.
- The International Seminar is attended by the heads of the following EMBs – Australia, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
- Heads of International Organisations also in attendance are from the Association of World Election Bodies [AWEB], International Foundation for Electoral Systems [IFES], International Centre for Parliamentary Studies [ICPS], International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance [IDEA] and the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre.
- The ECI signed MoUs with other EMBs including Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nepal at the event.