India helping other nations in conducting polls

Washington: Lauding Election Commission of India, a top US official has highlighted that India is now using its expertise and excellence to help conduct polls in other parts of the globe.

"With India we have sought to highlight its excellence in administering elections," Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, said in a speech.

India, she said, mobilises thousands of civil servants to help administer its domestic elections for over 730 million voters.

"The Indians are now sharing their expertise with other nations like Nigeria, where the electorate just went to the polls in a historic Presidential election that saw significant improvements over 2007 elections despite incidents of violence," Otero said.

"India also just sent experts to Egypt, whom we hope will have its first successful free election soon," she said, adding that South Africa has a similarly impressive history of breaking the yoke of apartheid and establishing a strong democracy in Africa.

Early this year, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a telephonic conversation with External Affairs Minister, sought India`s expertise in conducting free and fair elections in Egypt.

India has sent quite a number of electronic voting machines to Egypt.