ECN, Denmark and UNDP sign Cost Sharing Agreement: Election Commission receives additional US$ 2.1m support for voter registration
A Cost Sharing Agreement was signed today between the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), the Danish Embassy and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the US$ 2.1 million support being provided by the Government of Denmark for the new Voter Registration system. UNDP as the Election Commission?s coordinating partner of the donors will administer the funds through its Electoral Support Project (ESP).
The ECN has developed the new Voter Registration system, a modern registration process with photographs and biometric in order to make the voter list more accurate by removing any duplication of the voter?s name. The eligible Nepali citizens will be registered by digitally capturing their photo, fingerprints and signature.
During the signing event, the Acting Chief Commissioner of the ECN, Mr. Neel Kantha Uprety stated, ?The Danish financial contribution is a sign of a long standing relationship and commitment of the Government of Denmark to strengthen the Nepali democratic institutions and the new registration will be a major step towards a more genuine and clear voter list, and will reduce the existing error and time consuming manual registration process.?
The Danish Ambassador to Nepal, His Excellency, Mr. Morten Jespersen remarked, ?The Government of Denmark is dedicated to support the agenda of peace in Nepal. We have been supporting the Election Commission of Nepal for the last 19 years and this additional fund is a continuation to the support provided in April 2010 for the Voter Registration Pilot Project.?
UNDP Country Director, Ms. Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau said, ?The adoption of this modern registration process and the development of a voter list database with photographs and fingerprints has significant benefits. This includes clear identification of voters on the election-day, deterrence of false voting, ability to detect and remove duplicate registrations thereby contributing to creating a free and credible electoral environment.?
The ECN has already begun the first phase of this voter registration exercise in 58 municipalities of 43 districts across Nepal from 15 September. For the first phase of the programme, the ECN has established 798 registration centres equipped with voter registration kits. The kit includes all the hardware (laptops, finger print scanner, and web camera) and software (biometric based voters? registration system). The nation-wide registration will be carried out in three phases and is expected to be completed by August 2011.
The ECN Spokesperson, Joint Secretary Mr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma, email: email@example.com; Tel: +9771 4223165, Mobile: +977 9841351248
The Embassy of Denmark in Nepal, Mr. Saroj Nepal, Programme Officer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 4413020/4413010
Development Communications Officer, UNDP Nepal, Ms. Sangita Khadka, email: email@example.com, Tel: 5523200 ext 1077