The news was disclosed by India's Deputy Election Commissioner Nur Muhammad, who said he signed an agreement in New Delhi on Saturday with Carina Perelli, director of the UN's Electoral Assistance Division.

 

"India's election expertise is recognised the world over," Muhammad said, adding the country would provide assistance "wherever the UN thinks India's services could be useful".

 

"Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan could be immediate areas of activity," he said.

 

"Two Indians are already in Afghanistan, one of whom is helping to register voters for the 9 October presidential polls."

 

"India will be supplying indelible ink for the Aghan polls free of cost," Muhammad said.

 

Challenges

Indian officials organised polls in
which 670 million people voted

Perelli added that the UN would face tremendous challenges in providing assistance for elections in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the coming years.

 

India's Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishna Murthy described the signing of the agreement as "historic".

 

"I see it as a beginning of a very important relationship. In the years to come it will be necessary to conduct elections in a number of countries as many of them are young democracies," Murthy said.

 

Earlier this year, the panel organised national polls in India in which more than 670 million people voted for 543 MPs in the lower house of parliament. Electronic voting machines were used throughout the country.