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India & Panama signs MoU on Electoral Cooperation

Newdelhi:7/7/23:The Election Commission of India and Electoral Tribunal (ET) of Panama today signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Panama City to establish the institutional framework for their ongoing cooperation in the field of election management and administration.  A three member ECI delegation led by Chief Election Commissioner of India Shri Rajiv Kumar held interactions with Presiding Magistrate, Electoral Tribunal of Panama Mr. Alfredo Juncá Wendehake on strengthening collaboration and knowledge exchange between the two Election Management Bodies (EMBs). Mr. Eduardo Valdes Escoffery, first vice presidential magistrate and Mr. Luis A. Guerra Morales, second vice presidential magistrate, ET of Panama were also present.

While speaking on the occasion, CEC Shri Kumar said that this MoU reflects the ECI’s ongoing commitment to engage with electoral bodies across the globe and strengthen the democratic processes worldwide. He added “while learning from best election integrity practices from world over, ECI is committed to sharing its expertise and knowledge in conducting free, fair and transparent elections with its counterparts in other countries.” During the interaction, Presiding Magistrate, ET of Panama Mr. Alfredo discussed collaboration between the two EMBs on use of technology and social media in elections.

ECI has been expanding its links and cooperation with foreign Election Management Bodies (EMBs) through its ‘International Cooperation Programme’.  Having signed MoUs with Mexico, Brazil and Chile in the past years, this is the fourth MoU signed by ECI with an EMB in the Latin Americas region, with an overall 31 MoUs with EMBs and international organisations across the world.

The Election Commission of India and the Electoral Tribunal of Panama are members of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB). Officials from ET of Panama also attended the international conference on ‘Inclusive Elections and Elections Integrity’ organised by ECI in March 2023 as the lead for ‘Cohort on Elections Integrity’ under the aegis of ‘Summit for Democracy’.  Officials from ET of Panama also participated in the ‘International Election Visitors Programme’ hosted by ECI during State Assembly elections in April 2021 and attended a training course on Election Planning under ITEC Programme at IIIDEM in June 2021

.The signing ceremony was attended by representatives from both organisations. The ECI delegation will be attending the 11th Executive Board Meeting of A-WEB and an International Conference at Cartagena, Colombia. The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide with 119 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.

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Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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