List of Meetings & Events
2017 Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) Executive Board & General Assembly Meeting
March 20, 2017
- The Election Commission of India chaired the 2017 Executive Board Meeting of Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) in Manila (Philippines) held on 20 March 2017. Dr Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner of India and Chairperson, AAEA presided over the Executive Board Meeting which was attended by India (Chair), Philippines (Vice-Chair) and the three members viz South Korea, Mongolia and Bhutan.
- The opening remarks at the Executive Board meeting was delivered by Chair of AAEA, Dr Nasim Zaidi who stated that since Oct., 2014 when ECI took over as the Chair of AAEA, ECI have had fruitful interaction and collaboration in promoting the activities of the Association, with Philippines as the Vice-Chair and Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Bhutan as Executive Members. He conveyed his thanks to the member-EMBs of the AAEA for their valuable contribution in these endeavours.
- In his welcome remarks at the General Assembly, Mr. J.Andres D. Bautista, Honorable Chairman, COMELEC and Vice-Chair of AAEA stated that he was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Articles of the Association were passed in Manila 20 years ago, in 1997 and as such, AAEA had come a full circle to hold these meetings in March 2017. He shared COMELEC's experiences of the recently held May 9, 2016 Automated National and Local Elections in the Philippines. He conveyed his appreciation for the value of the AAEA meetings where all EMBs could learn from each other's experiences; share best practices in the field of election management and hope to find ways on future collaborations in this area. The COMELEC Chairman also moved to adopt a resolution of thanks to the Election Commission of India for the works it had done and the excellent report delivered by the Secretariat.
During the meeting the following proposals were discussed and approved:-
- Expanding the members of AAEA:- The Chair of AAEA informed that ECI had invited EMBs of Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand to consider joining AAEA. Myanmar for the time being had conveyed its inability to be a member of AAEA and Thailand and Malaysia did not respond on the matter. However, it was agreed that the Secretariat would pursue with Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand to join the AAEA.
- Election to the Chair of AAEA- At the last General Assembly of the Association held in New Delhi in October, 2014, Philippines was elected as the Vice Chair of the AAEA and had agreed to host 2017 Executive Board Meeting and General Assembly in Philippines. In terms of Article 3.4.1 of the Charter, Philippines being the Host of General Assembly, would take over as Chair. Therefore, Philippines by consensus, was elected as Chair of AAEA for 2017-2019 in General Assembly.
- Election to the Vice Chair of AAEA – The Chairperson COMLEC informed that Sri Lanka and Russia had expressed their intention to run for Vice Chair. However, Sri Lanka withdrew its candidature for post of Vice-Chair. Russia which agreed to host next General Assembly Meeting as required under Article 3.4.2 of AAEA Charter, was therefore the only candidate for the next Vice-Chair. However Chairperson COMLEC proposed that other members of AAEA may also be given opportunity to put up their candidature for the post of Vice-Chair of AAEA and the matter could be discussed further during the General Assembly. The Board also agreed to the proposal. During General Assembly none of the members proposed its candidature for the post of Vice-Chair. After discussion, the General Assembly by consensus elected Russia as Vice-Chair of AAEA for 2017-19.
Election and Expansion to the Executive Board Members of AAEA
- It was brought to the notice of the Executive Board that the following members of the AAEA had expressed their desire to join the Executive Board (EB) as members:
- As per the convention, the outgoing Chair becomes a member of the EB. As such, The Board agreed that India would be a member of the EB for the years 2017-19. Keeping in view the aspiration of the members, the Executive Board discussed the matter for election of the remaining new members of the Board and decided that the strength of the Executive Board may be increased from five (5) to seven (7) including the Chair and Vice-Chair by amending the Charter in order to have a better and geographically balanced representation of member EMBs of the AAEA.
- During the discussion, representative of Bangladesh stated that instead of 7 members, the membership in the Executive Board could be kept at 40% of the total members of AAEA.
- The representative of Sri Lanka stated that a fixed number i.e. 7 as suggested would be more appropriate and in the future, it could be further amended in case the overall membership of AAEA increases further.
- The General Assembly approved by consensus that the membership of the EB be revised to 7 (seven).Thus Article 3.5 of the Charter of AAEA was accordingly amended.
- It was also decided in the GA that the geographical diversity of the members of the AAEA may be represented in the Executive Board by electing two (2) members each from South Asia; Central Asia and South East Asia/Asia-Pacific, including the Vice-Chair.
Hence, the General Assembly, after discussion and by consensus approved the following new members on Executive Board:
- India (Past Chair)
- Tenure of Executive Board – The General Assembly also approved that the tenure of the Executive Board be from March to March for two years. The Chairperson of COMELEC also suggested that the post of Chairperson of AAEA be rotated among the three regions as is the norm in other similar international organizations. The proposal was approved by the General Assembly. Thus Article 3.5 of the Charter of AAEA was accordingly amended.
- A-WEB Membership –
The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) proposed that AAEA become its Associate Member. The proposal was discussed in the Executive Board Meeting and it was decided that AAEA may become Associate Member of A-WEB, which was also ratified by all the members in General Assembly.
- Work Plan for 2017-18
The Executive Board discussed the work plan for 2017-18 presented by COMLEC as Chair of AAEA.
In order to make it more participatory, more contributory and in order to ensure more meaningful engagement, Dr. Nasim Zaidi suggested that each Executive Board Member must organise one programme for AAEA during its tenure of two years.
Apart from the above the Secretariat of AAEA also presented the following reports:-
– Mr. Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioner and Executive Secretary of AAEA presented the Secretariat report. He referred to the last general assembly held in New Delhi in Oct 2014 when India took over as the Chair of AAEA from the Republic of Korea for a two-year term and Philippines was elected as Vice-Chair. Bhutan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea were elected as Executive Board members. The General Assembly approved amendments to the Charter, including reducing the General Assembly meeting cycle from 3 years to 2 years. The General Assembly also approved to admit Maldives, Russia and Uzbekistan as new members to the AAEA. The AAEA’s website (http://www.aaea-sec.org) was set up under a new domain name and has been in operation since May, 2015. The 2015 Executive Board meeting took place on September 15, 2015 in New Delhi, India, with the participation of 5 members of the Executive Board (India as Chair, the Philippines as Vice-Chair and Bhutan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea as Executive Members) and the Secretariat. In April, 2016, the Board approved the appointment of Mr. Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioner, ECI as the Executive Secretary. The work plan executed by AAEA Secretariat during 2014-2016 (including the following major events hold by ECI) was also presented by AAEA Executive Secretary. Some highlights of the activities undertaken during 2015-17 are:
- International Seminar on election-related themes held on 15 Sept. 2015 at New Delhi.
- Regional Conference on Election Finance and Curbing Abuse of Money Power in Elections on 15-16 December 2015 at New Delhi.
- Compilation of Best Practices on Expenditure Monitoring in Elections, from the proceeding of the Conference held on 15-16 Dec. 2015 – published by ECI and circulated among AAEA members.
- Witnessing of Elections: EVP Mission to Sri Lanka for Presidential Elections in January 2015. Four EMBs from Asia i.e. Sri Lanka in May 2016 and Bangladesh, Kyrgyz Republic and Russia among AAEA members visited India for EVP during Feb. 2017.
- Capacity Building Workshop on use of Technology in Elections : 20-29 Sept. 2016 at New Delhi – 18 officials from 10 Asian countries attended the Workshop. Proceedings of the Workshop have been uploaded on AAEA website.
- Expansion of membership of the AAEA: The ECI has approached EMBs of Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand to consider joining AAEA.
- 11 officials of Election Management Bodies from 7 Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Indonesia, Maldives,Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines participated in the Conference on Voter Education held on 19-21 Oct 2016.
- The VoICE.NET (Voter Information, Communication and Education Network), an online platform for sharing knowledge, resources and expertise on voter education was launched.
- Special Training Course for 26 election officials from SAARC countries was conducted by the Indian International Institute for Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) from 05-15 Dec, 2016.
It was also informed that all these activities were undertaken by the ECI from its own resources and no expenditure was incurred from AAEA account.
- Financial Report- The Secretariat also presented financial report stating that USD 39,244.01 was taken over by the ECI from the NEC Korea in Nov 2015. The ECI received membership fees from 9 members viz Kazakastan, Kyrgyz, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, NEC Korea and Nepal a total of USD 13,862. Expenditure of USD 22.42 was incurred on account of refund of excess credit provided by Bank on transfer of fees paid by ECI of Republic of Korea. Overall a balance of US$ 53,083.68 was available in AAEA account as of 28th Feb, 2017.
- After the General Assembly the member EMBs of India, Philippines, Nepal, Taiwan, Cambodia, Maldives, Mongolia, Russia and Sri Lanka made presentation on "Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusiveness".
- Alongside the meeting, the COMLEC also organized an Expo on "Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusiveness" and mounted a Photo Exhibition in which ECI along with many member countries of AAEA participated by displaying their publications on various electoral activities.
- The CEC of India also met the delegates of other EMBs and discussed various issues of mutual interests with them.
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