In 1st Bhutan visit in 10 years, chief election commissioner discusses cooperation with Bhutanese counterpart | India News


NEW DELHI: In a first visit of a chief election commissioner (CEC) to Bhutan in 10 years, Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday held bilateral discussions with his Bhutanese counterpart to explore avenues for expanding cooperation between the two election management bodies.
An Election Commission of India statement said Kumar held productive discussions with the chief election commissioner of Bhutan, Dasho Sonam Topgay, to explore avenues for expanding bilateral cooperation. Kumar and Topgay discussed collaboration on human resource development, research and training and leveraging technological advancements to further strengthen election management.
Kumar also called on Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and discussed the excellent collaboration and partnership between the election bodies of the two countries and commitment to strengthen it further, the statement said.
Prime Minister Tshering thanked Kumar in a tweet for ECI’s support and cooperation to the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) and mentioned the importance accorded to the ECB that is critical to strengthen their democracy.
The institutional cooperation between the Election Commissions of India and Bhutan was formalised through an MoU in 2006, which was renewed in September 2011 for a period of five years. A fresh MoU was signed in New Delhi in January 2019 for a period of five years.
In an interaction with members of the Indian community in Thimpu, Kumar underlined the strength and vibrancy of the Indian democracy. He explained to members of the Indian community about NRI rights, processes available under electoral laws and, in detail, the Indian election system, including various technological initiatives. The NRI community requested the ECI to consider providing the facility of voting through the Indian embassy in Bhutan, during elections in India.

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