Expressing the desire to provide electoral assistance to Egypt, Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi has said India will provide electronic voting machines (EVMs) to the North African nation, which is gearing up for a democratic process after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Mr. Quraishi, accompanied by a five-member team, is on a five-day visit to Egypt to apprise top officials in the country about India’s electoral system and the usage of EVMs.
“India is glad to lend Egypt its machines since there is not enough time left before elections,” he told reporters after a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Justice and Communication as well as with two counsellors.
Egypt’s military rulers had last month announced an interim constitution and said presidential elections would be held by November after Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in January.
Mr. Quraishi hailed the relations between the two countries where “the most ancient civilizations can be found”, noting that Egypt was at the crossroad to democracy.
He said India was ready to offer all its experience to the “budding” democracy in Egypt.
Mr. Quraishi called the Electronic Voter Machine as “the wonder machine of democracy” and said it had “revolutionised” elections in India.
He said that India does not support international monitoring of elections and hence would not participate in monitoring elections in Egypt.
The polls may be held in November. It will be the second presidential election in Egypt’s history, following the 2005 election and presidential confirmation referendum in 1999, 1993, and earlier.
Mr. Mubarak had been President from 1981, following the assassination of Anwar Sadat, until his resignation in February 2011.
Potential candidates include Mohamed ElBaradei (the ex—Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and joint recipient, with the Agency, of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize), Amr Moussa (the current Secretary—General of the Arab League, and former Egyptian Foreign Minister) and Ahmed Zewail (Egyptian—American scientist, and the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), among others.