Maintaining independence key to conducting elections: Election Commissioner

Collective action by global Election Management Bodies are needed to strengthen democratic norms and processes, said Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey

Published - November 02, 2022 03:22 am IST - New Delhi

Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey. File.

Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Maintaining independence is key to ensuring quality in the conduct of elections, Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said on Tuesday. He also called for collective action on the part of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) the world over to strengthen democratic norms and processes.

Mr. Pandey was speaking at the concluding ceremony of a two-day international conference on the Role, Framework and Capacity of EMBs organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Though elections are key to democracy, the quality of functional efficiency of conducting elections by EMBs in turn depended on their effectiveness in addressing challenges and maintaining independence, said the Commissioner.

While highlighting emerging challenges such as polarisation, populism and voter apathy, Mr. Pandey emphasised the need for mutual cooperation, continuous engagement and knowledge-sharing among global EMBs in a regular, structured manner to address them. Global standards and Standard Operating Procedures need to be developed on the management of electoral rolls, polling management, electoral technology, control of disinformation, fake news, cyber security and all related aspects in the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections, he said.

The Commissioner added that more democracies must be brought on board in a manner that involved and engaged them in “strengthening electoral democracy.”

The conference was organised by the ECI under the Cohort on Election Integrity which was established following last year’s ‘Summit for Democracy’. Sessions included a focus on the challenges currently faced by EMBs with respect to their role and framework to ensure election integrity, as well as the emerging issues caused by digital technologies.

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