Sat, 24 Oct 2020

New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora has stressed on the commitment of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) across the world for the conduct of free, fair, timely and participatory polls to strengthen the democratic system.

"CEC Sunil Arora underscored the commitment of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) across the world, for the conduct of timely, free, fair and participatory elections to foster democracy in the world. He recalled former US President Abraham Lincoln's allusion to democracies as -- governments of the people, by the people, and for the people," a statement by the Election Commission (EC) said.

He was speaking at the conclusion of the International Webinar on 'Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19: Sharing Country Experiences'.

The CEC also recalled a quote by former South African President Nelson Mandela: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.""Today's webinar brings out clearly the importance of training the officials involved with the conduct of elections," Arora further said.

Speaking at the event, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said, "In the shadow of COVID-19, elections have not only to be free and fair but also ensure safety for the electors as well as polling officials and security personnel on duty. Presentations from various countries show comprehensive preparedness required before, during and after elections. The ultimate concern is to ensure that voters feel safe while voting in COVID-19 times.""Even amid the pandemic, electors have high expectations for the smooth conduct of elections. Mutual sharing of ideas and experiences of conducting elections amidst challenges of COVID-19 at this webinar will go a long way in introducing safety provisions and services with all protocols in place and will strengthen the democracies despite challenges posed," according to Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

According to the statement, the webinar provided a great opportunity for participants to share ideas from experiences of each others' of holding and managing polls in the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic to ensure free, fair, transparent and safe elections. (ANI)

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