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ECI adamant; Sunday vote count as scheduled

Aizawl: Despite numerous appeals from political parties, civil society organisations, and church denominations in Mizoram, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will not postpone the date of vote counting for the 40-member state legislature. 

Mizoram chief electoral officer Madhup Vyas, who returned from Delhi after discussions with the Election Commission, said on Thursday that the counting is scheduled for December 3, as initially announced by the ECI.

Earlier, Vyas had expressed optimism that the central poll panel might reconsider the counting date when the NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella organization representing civil societies and student bodies, held a meeting with him.

In a concurrent development, the office bearers of the central committee of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), the apex Mizo body, convened on Thursday and decided to pursue the matter further after consulting with the NGO Coordination Committee.

The YMA leader mentioned that the next steps would be taken to advocate for a change in the counting date after engaging in broader consultations with all stakeholders. 

The Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of major church leaders in the state, left the decision regarding any future action on the issue to the NGO Coordination Committee.

Political parties, including the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and the BJP, had collectively appealed to the ECI to postpone the counting date as December 3 coincides with Sunday, a sacred day for the majority of Christians in the Christian-dominated state. The NGO Coordination Committee, MKHC, and the Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), a church-sponsored election watchdog, also urged the ECI to consider changing the counting day to December 4 or 5, avoiding it on a Sunday.

The YMA leaders announced that a decision on the next course of action regarding the issue would be made soon.

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Zoram Chronicle