Against the backdrop of strong opposition and ultimatum against the hasty move to hold civic polls under 33% women reservation without resolving the issue, the state government through, the state election commission (SEC), has notified that general election to municipal councils and town councils in the state would be held on February 1, 2017.
The state government had in its notifications dated October 4, 2016 and November 18, 2016 directed the State Election Commission to hold general election to constitute the Municipal Councils and town councils in the state along with 33% reservation of seats for women.
According to a notification issued by the state election commissioner, Sentiyanger Imchen, the schedule of election programme include period for filing of nomination from January 3-7, 2017, consolidated list of nomination would be posted on January 9, 2017; scrutiny of nomination papers on January 10, 2017, list of validly nominated candidate would be posted on January 11, 2017, application for revision of the order of the authority scrutinizing the nomination from January 12-14, 2017 (upto 3pm), revision application filed would be decided on January 16, 2017, last date of withdrawal of candidature on January 17, 2017 (upto 3pm), list of contesting candidates and list of polling station would be posted on January 17, 2017 after 3pm, date of polling on February 1, 2017 (between 7am to 3pm), date of re-poll (if any) on February 3, 2017 and counting and declaration of results on February 4, 2017.
The notification stated that electoral rolls for the ensuing election to the municipal councils and town councils have been prepared with reference to January 1, 2016 as the qualifying date and finally published on November 29, 2016 and December 20, 2016. Copies of the electoral roll can be obtained from the respective returning officer of the municipal and town councils.
Identification of voters: In order to safeguard against personation under Rule 54 of the Nagaland Municipal Rule 2003, the state election commission has decided that compulsory identification of the voters would be made in the ensuing general election to the municipal and town councils in the state. SEC said it would issue separate instruction in this regard.
Model code of conduct: With the announcement of the election programme through this publication, the model code of conduct for guidance of all the political parties and candidates would come into operation with immediate effect within the entire municipal and town council areas going to poll.
SEC said this would be applicable to all candidates, political parties in the state and the state government machinery.
It may be recalled that on December 10, Naga Hoho and ENPO had jointly served a 15-day ultimatum on chief minister T.R.Zeliang after concluding that the state government “should not issue the election notification as of now”. Both NH and ENPO said even if the state went ahead to implement conduct of polls, the government would be embarrassed due to people’s non-participation.
Naga Hoho president, Chuba Ozukum told Nagaland Post that at the invitation of state government, the Naga Hoho and ENPO held a meeting with the state government on December 17 last. He however said that the issue was deliberated at length, but the meeting remained inconclusive. In this regard both NH, ENPO and the state government had decided to meet the NMA jointly.
Ozukum also reiterated ENPO and NH appeal to the state government not to notify the municipal poll continues.