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The Election Visitors Programme (EVP) conducted by the Election Commission of India simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections 2014 came to a successful close today. The Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius and the UNDP Resident Representative visited a Counting Centre here today as part of the Election Visitors Programme. This is a part of the South-South Cooperation initiative of the Election Commission of India. The programme, run in partnership with UNDP, attracted a huge response. 

The countries which participated are Namibia, Nigeria, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Uganda, Kenya, Bhutan and several member-countries of the League of Arab States (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen and Oman). 

The delegates were divided into groups and each group was given a briefing at ECI, followed by field visits to an elections location, again followed by another interaction at ECI. The election locations were in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. In addition, ECI also facilitated field visits to Election locations by 30 trainees who were undergoing training at its training institute, IIIDEM. 

Diplomats posted in New Delhi and a group of Malaysian Parliamentarians also witness the Lok Sabha elections in various states. In all, over 140 visitors from more than 30 countries had the occasion to get first hand exposure to the largest electoral event in the world. 

All delegates, without exception, were impressed by the magnitude of the electoral exercise, and the numbers involved. All of them complimented the ECI on overseeing a mammoth event and ensuring that it was free and fair, transparent and peaceful. They expressed their admiration for the orderly and meticulous discharge of duties by the polling teams. They were impressed with the extensive measures implemented under ECI’s Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation Programme and many of them requested for information/implementation documents for adoption/replication in their countries. The use of technology in different areas of election management came in for high praise, and a lot of wonder and admiration from various delegates. Most of them wanted to explore the use of EVMs, VVPAT, webcasting, live monitoring of movement of men, materials and vehicles in their own countries.