Aizawl, Sep 8 : The Mizoram People Forum was formed in 2006 under the aegis of Mizoram Presbyterian Church. The church-backed Mizoram People Forum (MPF) last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with major political parties across the state of Mizoram to ensure free and fair state Assembly elections scheduled next year.
The MoU, which was drafted first on July 31, was only approved on August 23. The Indian National Congress (INC), Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), Mizo People's Conference (MPC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party were the signatories to the agreement.
In an effort to reform the electoral process, the MoU in some 27 points urges parties to take major steps to address deceptive election practices. It asks political parties not to make tall promises in its election manifesto. Only the citizens of India should cast their votes.
The Mizoram People Forum will closely monitor if the candidates are buying votes, dropping voters to their polling stations by means of a vehicle, doing door to door campaign, distributing gifts or offering favors for votes.
“Organisations and individuals should not expect any benefits in the form of money or materials from the candidates,” a statement of MPF said.
Further, no protest rally should be organised 10 days before the election, and only a restricted number of banners, flags, posters are to be used by the parties. A village council having more than 7 members can have 3 banners, 30 flags and 20 posters.
Supporters of candidates can no longer use caps, Tshirts, badges and stickers bearing party symbols, and party flags during election campaigning.
The MPF urged political parties to choose candidates who are mature and trustworthy. Importantly, the candidate must respect the Constitution and laws of the country.
The Mizoram People Forum was formed in 2006 under the aegis of Mizoram Presbyterian Church. It is currently an organisation that comprises of major church bodies and NGOs striving for disciplined conduct of polls.