May 24, 2012
Electoral Education and Information Center opens for public
The newly constructed Electoral Education and Information Center (EEIC) was inaugurated at the Election Commission Nepal today by the Right Honourable President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. Inaugurating the EEIC, President Yadav said, “This Center of excellence should serve to make the citizens fully aware about democracy, elections and good-governance.” He further added, “Not all the countries have this kind of facility hence Nepal is privileged to have one for imparting electoral education to the public which is most essential for deepening of democracy”. He thanked the AusAid and UNDP for their financial and technical assistance to establish this modern Resource Center.
The Acting Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal, Neel Kantha Uprety said, “The Election Commission in the days to come will adopt effective ways to impart electoral education to the public, improve policies and laws to make the electoral system more transparent.”
Her Excellency Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Susan Grace expressed hope that the Center would become a vibrant institution which would educate people about the evolution of democratic governance in Nepal.
With EEIC’s technologically advanced facilities such as the mini-theatre, interactive area, mock election room, museum, e-library and space for research, training and public outreach, it is expected that the Center will enable interaction with a variety of electoral stakeholders on electoral issues and promote free and fair elections.
UNDP Resident Representative Robert Piper stated,“More than ever, Nepal’s political leaders inside and outside Government have a critical responsibility to each become educators in their own right. This new Center is at its core, an extraordinary new resource to support them in this critical responsibility.”
Tom Rogers, Deputy Election Commissioner of Australia said, “an educated electorate is critical to helping build a successful democracy." He further said that the ties between the two Election Commissions (Australia and Nepal) have further strengthened with the establishment of this new Resource Center.
Starting September 2010, UNDP and other donors such as DFID, Norway and Denmark have supported the Election Commission of Nepal’s voter registration process which supports developing of a voter list with photograph and fingerprints. The introduction of this new voter registration process is a major reform in the election process carried out in Nepal. This supports clear identification of voters on the election-day, deterrence of false voting, ability to detect and remove duplicate registrations, and enable accurate internal migration of voters between locations. This system will prevent the possibility of multiple and proxy voting. The second round of voter registration process is still ongoing for the citizens in different parts of the country who have missed the first round of registration.
In addition, to make the election procedures more independent, impartial, transparent and professional, the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) have come on board to conduct trainings on Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Election (BRIDGE) to make the election procedures. As of now, the political party members who won the seat in the first past the post (FPTP) system in the Constituent Assembly election have received the training along with members of the civil society, media and Election Commission staff.