Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): The ruling Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), an election watchdog comprising church leaders and representatives of youth and women civil society on November 10 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a free and fair election in view of the upcoming assembly polls to be held in later part of next year.
Clauses of the MoU already approved by both sides were released today during a function at Congress Bhavan.
Speaking on the occasion, a top leader of MPF said that the MoU for conduct of free and fair election signed with all political parties in previous elections since 2006 were strictly followed and respected by political parties.
He also thanked all political parties for strictly adhering to the MoU in the previous assembly polls which resulted in the conduct of elections under free and fair manner.
According to the leader, the first MoU between MPF and all political parties in the state was signed in 2006 in view of the Tlungvel bye election.
The booklet of the MoU was received by MPCC chairman and chief minister Lal Thanhawla.
Speaking on the occasion, Lal Thanhawla lauded the election watchdog for its initiative to have free and fair elections in the state.
He also said that the Congress has strongly welcomed the watchdog for signing MoU with all political parties in connection with the previous elections.
According to Lal Thanhawla, the Congress party used to strictly follow the dos and don’ts set by the MPF to have free and fair elections.
“We have never breached the covenant or MoU signed with the watchdog,” he said.
He said that every time Congress came to power by the grace of God and the people, it used to make policies with strict adherence to words of God from the Bible.
He also said that the MPF’s move for monitoring selection of candidates, expenses incurred by parties, and even micro-managing what should, or should not, figure in poll manifestos were the principle and desires of the Congress.
BJP Mizoram Pradesh also today signed MoU with the MPF in view of the upcoming assembly election at the party office in Aizawl.
Led by the largest church body of the state, the Synod, the MPF is a social organisation formed for a free and fair election during assembly and local body polls. It also draws volunteers from other prominent civil society organizations such as the Young Mizo Association (YMA), Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) and Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP) or Mizoram Elders’ Association to name a few.
The organisation virtually turns into an official poll watchdog, monitoring selection of candidates, expenses incurred by parties, and even micro-managing what should, or should not, figure in poll manifestos.
The civil society conglomerate also used to organize what it calls a common platform at different places where candidates of various political parties stand on one podium, deliver speeches and take queries from the audience. In some ways, it is like the US presidential debate.