India has been unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) for 2022-2024 at the recently held meeting of the Executive board and General Assembly at Manila, Philippines on May 7, 2022. Commission on Elections, Manila was the current chair of AAEA. The new member in the Executive Board now includes Russia, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Taiwan and Philippines.
The Election Commission of India 3-member delegation headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Nitesh Vyas, along with CEO Manipur Shri Rajesh Agrawl and CEO Rajasthan Shri Praveen Gupta, attended the Executive Board meeting at Manila and presented the work plan for 2022-23 as also futuristic activities for 2023-24 to the Executive Board. A presentation on ‘Gender Issues in Elections’ was also given, highlighting various concerted and targeted interventions by India to break socio-political barriers in electoral and political processes for inclusive and participative elections.
The mission of the Association of Asian Election Authorities is to provide a non-partisan forum in the Asian region for sharing experiences and best practices among election authorities to discuss and act upon ways to promote open and transparent elections with the objective of supporting good governance and democracy.
Officials from many AAEA member countries have been regularly attending International Training Programmes conducted by India International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) from time to time. Since 2019, more than 250 officials from AAEA member countries have attended these programmes. IIIDEM also conducts customised capacity development training programs for specific AAEA member countries. 50 officials of Bangladesh Election Commission were trained during 2021-22.
Delegates from AAEA have also been regularly participating in the International Election Visitors Programme organised by Election Commission of India. 62 officials from 12 AAEA members participated in the 3rd International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) hosted by ECI during Assembly Elections in 2022. AAEA is also an Associate Member of the 118 member Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
Establishment and Membership of AAEA
In pursuance of the resolution passed by participants of the Symposium on Asian Elections in the Twenty First Century held from January 26-29, 1997 in Manila, Philippines, the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) was established in 1998. Currently 20 Asian EMBs are members of AAEA. ECI is a founder member EMB of the AAEA and also served on the Executive Board of the AAEA as the Vice Chair during 2011-13 and Chair during 2014-16.