From Thursday, August 31, till Saturday, September 2, 2006 an international conference of election organizers was held in Jurmala in which participated more than 170 participants – heads of national election commission and election experts from more than 30 countries of Europe and the world. The conference was organized by the Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials (ACEEEO) in cooperation with the Central Election Commission of Latvia (CEC).
According to the Chairman of the CEC of Latvia Mr Arnis Cimdars who is currently also the president of the ACEEEO, within the framework of the conference in Latvia the 15th anniversary of the association was celebrated. In honour of this event a festive plenary session was held in Blackhead’s House, in Riga, introduced by the speech delivered by the President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.
The ACEEEO organizes such conferences every year, however, the topic chosen for the conference in Latvia was technical and legal aspects of national referendum. At the same time, issues of development of e-voting and e-democracy in the world, as well as the necessity of creation of a pan-European association of election officials were discussed.
Several working sessions at the conference were chaired by the Chairman of the CEC of Latvia and the President of ACEEEO Mr Arnis Cimdars, reports were given by the ACEEEO Secretary General Mr Zoltan Toth, Chairman of the CEC of Russian Federation Aleksandr Veshniakov, Chairman of the UK Electoral Commission Mr San Younger, Chairman of the IFES Mr Paul De Gregorio, Chairman of the CEC of Lithuania Mr Zenonas Vaigauskas, Chairman of the CEC of Poland Mr Kazimir Czaplicki, Project Manager of e-voting in Estonia Mr Tarvi Martens, as well as election experts from OSCE, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, IFES and other organizations.
In order to introduce the ACEEEO to the public and inform about the process of the conference in Latvia, in August 31, from 2 PM to 2:30 PM a press conference was held in the Lubeck Hall of the Blackheads House, Town Hall Square 7. After the press conference, at 3 PM representatives of the press had an opportunity to be present at the festive plenary session in honour of the 15th Anniversary of the ACEEEO and to listen to the address of the President of State Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga for the participants of the conference.