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 Democracy
 
Mizoram: Articles of Agreement between political parties and civil society
Mizoram Peoples Forum, India Wednesday, October 30, 2013


In poll bound Mizoram, the civil society and the church, the political parties and the election commission work together to make the democratic exercise free and fair.

ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT
BETWEEN POLITICAL PARTIES AND MIZORAM PEOPLE FORUM

The joint efforts of the political parties and the Mizoram People Forum in implementing the ‘Articles of Agreement’ for holding a clean, free and fair election in various elections within Mizoram such as – Mizoram Legislative Assembly General Election 2008, MP Election 2009, Village Council Elections 2009 & 2012, Aizawl Local Council Election 2012, Aizawl Municipal Election 2010 and Autonomous District Council Elections, have been a great success. The conduct of elections in Mizoram have become a role model for other states of the country, which is the result of the united effort of all the people concerned in the electoral process and the people of Mizoram.

Mizoram is facing Legislative Assembly General Election in 2013; buoyant by the past achievements and successes, and the desire to uphold the great election model, Political Parties of Mizoram and the Mizoram People Forum have come together and inked this ‘Articles of Agreement’ which will be in force for the Mizoram Legislative Assembly General Election 2013.

1. General conduct:
 i) For holding a clean, free and fair election every precautions and measures should be taken.
 ii) All the rightful citizens of the country enrolled in the electoral roll must cast their votes.
iii) The conveyance and travelling expenditures of electoral voters, who are stationed on places other than the constituency where they have enrolled, shall not be borne by others such as political parties, candidates or their workers.

2. Election expenditure:
i) No party or candidate shall indulge in huge and wasteful election expenditures. Election expenditures should be kept to the minimum. MPF functionaries shall not accept money or donations from the political parties and the candidates.
ii) Activities which are ‘corrupt practices’ and offences under the election law can crop up during the house to house campaign. Therefore, house to house visits by candidates and their supporters is prohibited during the period of 10 days prior to the election day, to allow the electors period of tranquil to decide their option.
iii) Influencing of voters through money or other incentives and inducements must be avoided. General public, organizations and individuals are requested not to ask or expect any favour from the candidates. Similarly, candidates and Political Parties are also requested to refrain from announcing any financial grants, distribution of inducement articles like silpouline, jersey, football, mobile handset, NLUP etc, or promises thereof.
iv) Feasting, picnic and procession escalate the election expenditure unnecessarily; they must be avoided.
v) Banner, flag and poster unnecessarily escalate the election expenditure; therefore the maximum number of banners, flags and posters is restricted within each locality as follows:
 -  VC/LC with a maximum of seven members:
  Upto 3 banners, 30 flags and 20 posters.
-  VC/LC with a maximum of five members:
  Upto 3 banners, 20 flags and 15 posters.
-  VC/LC with a maximum of three members:
  Upto 3 banners, 10 flags and 10 posters.
-  The maximum size of banner shall be 18’x4’ and that of the poster shall be 4’x3’.
-  Caps, badges and stickers with political party symbols may not be use as the election materials.
-  MPF functionaries will  request the political parties to remove excessive banners, flags and posters,   
   if any, if the case arises.

3. Free and fair election, and security issues:
i) Use of force, intimidation and undue influence to the voters to secure their votes must be avoided.
ii) Securing the support of underground armed groups and use of arms shall be prevented at all cost.
iii) Take all necessary actions to security and peaceful election, especially along the border and sensitive areas.

4. Policy implementation:
i) Only realistic and do-able policies and programmes must be included in the Party manifesto.
ii) More than the personal and individual life of the candidates, election campaigning should revolve around the Party policy land programme. Campaigning by use of false propaganda, unproven truth and scandalous issues must be avoided.
5. MLA Candidates:
While making the nomination, the political parties are requested to consider the following qualities in their prospective candidates:
i) Stable and upright person.
ii) Honest and hard working.
iii) Person with great integrity.
iv) Free from the influence of alcoholic and other drugs.
v) Mipat hmeichhiat kawnga sawisel kai lo
vi) Having great respect for law of the land.
vii) Khawtlang leh mahni mihring puite thatna tur duha, chumi atana inhmang peih mi
viii) Mahni sakhua, kohhran leh pawla mi hmingtha leh rinawm

6. Joint electioneering effort:
i) As and when possible, joint election campaign platform will be organized for various candidates, under the guidance of MPF Constituency Forum. These programmes may be widely publicized in the local TV and media; other than these, joint election campaign platform must be avoided.
ii) All public meetings, even those organized by individual party, may be held under the guidance of MPF. In the absence of MPF, individual political parties may make suitable arrangement.
iii) No tea or eatables shall be served on the Polling day. Giving out of election numbers or slips shall be undertaken by the MPF duty or in a joint effort with the party workers.

7. Conclusion:
i) MPF District Forum, Constituency Forum and Local Forum shall neither make additional agreement nor deviate from this ‘Articles of Agreement’.
ii) If any political parties or candidates default or goes against the spirit of this ‘Articles of Agreement’ and if there is solid proof or documentary evidence to prove the same, it shall be widely publicise within the MLA Constituency where it has been committed.
iii) This ‘Articles of Agreement’ shall be widely publicised and circulated by the Mizoram People Forum and Political Parties.

Signed by the leaders of the said Political parties and MPF:

Sd/-
(LAL THANHAWLA) President, 
Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee

Sd/-

(ZORAMTHANGA) President, Mizo National Front Gen. Hqrs.

Sd/-

(LALDUHOMA), President, Zoram Nationalist Party Gen. Hqrs.

                                                                                           Sd/-
                                                                                        (LALHMANGAIHA SAILO), President, Mizoram Peoples’ Conference Gen. Hqrs.

Sd/- 

(LALHLUNA) President,  Bharatya Janata Party, Mizoram Unit

Sd/-
                                                                                                (REV. THANGZAUVA), President, Mizoram People Forum Gen. Hqrs.

Sd/-
 (UPA LALRAMTHANGA), General Secretary,Mizoram People Forum Gen. Hqrs

Source: The original item in Mizo language is available at this link. 

FRAME WORK OF GUIDELINES FOR ELECTIONEERING

The desire for a clean, free and fair election in Mizoram have prompted leaders of the Mizoram People Forum and the Political Parties to have consultations to work out the modalities and frame an ‘Election Guidelines’ to achieve the above objective. The consultations held on September 25th, 2006 and April 30th, 2008 framed the following guidelines. Political Parties are expected to follow them as far as possible; while the MPF will take all possible steps to see its implementation.

1. Election expenditure:
i) No party or candidate shall indulge in huge and wasteful election expenditures. Election expenditures should be kept to the minimum.
ii) Activities which are ‘corrupt practices’ and offences under the election law can crop up during the house to house campaign. Therefore, all such activities must be avoided. Procession may also be dispense with.
iii) Influencing of voters through money or other incentives must be avoided.
iv) Community feasting, picnic, poster and flag wars escalate the election expenditure unnecessarily. Therefore, they may be avoided.
v) General public, organizations and individuals are requested not to ask or expect any favour from the candidates. Similarly, candidates and Political Parties are also requested to refrain from announcing any financial grants or promises thereof.
vi) Setting up of Campaign/Election Office may be avoided.

2. Free and fair election, and security issue:
i) Use of force, intimidation and undue influence to the voters to secure their votes must be avoided.
ii) Securing the support of underground armed groups and use of arms shall be prevented at all cost.
iii) Take all necessary actions to security and peaceful election, especially along the border and sensitive areas.

3. Policy implementation and candidature issue:
i) Only realistic and do-able policies and programmes must be included in the Party manifesto.
ii) Personal and individual life of the candidates should not be used as a poll issue. Election campaigning should revolve around the Party policy land programme.
iii) Political Parties are expected to put forward those who are upright, God-fearing, clean and honest persons as candidates.
iv) Campaigning by use of false propaganda, unproven truth and scandalous issues must be avoided.

4. Joint electioneering effort:
iv) As and when possible, joint election campaign platform will be organized for various candidates, under the guidance of MPF.
v) All public meetings, even those organized by individual party, may be held under the guidance of MPF.
iv) Distribution of party manifesto, policy and programmes and any other leaflets may be undertaken by the MPF duty or in a joint effort with the party workers.
v) No tea or eatables shall be served on the Polling day. Giving out of election numbers or slips shall be undertaken by the MPF duty or in a joint effort with the party workers.

5. In addition to the above mentioned guidelines, the MPF Local Forum and leaders of the Political Parties may, without deviating from the spirit of the agreement, draft in details actions to be taken within their localities, as per their requirement.


Issued by:
Mizoram People Forum Hqrs.
Central YMA Building, M.G Road,
Aizawl – 796 001, Mizoram.
Phone: 0389-2301982

This article was published in the Mizoram Peoples Forum on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Please read the original article here.
Tags- Find more articles on - Mizo Peoples Forum | Mizoram | Mizoram assembly election | Mizoram vidhan Sabha

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