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NC election turns selection
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, FEB 16 (NPN)
Published on 17 Feb. 2010 12:29 AM IST
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Scheduled election of the new office bearers for the period 2010-2014 to the Naga Council snowballed into controversy after six tribes of eastern Nagaland and Ao Union Dimapur staged a walk out following their objections to the decision of the Election Commission in changing the process of election into ‘selection’. It may be noted that a total of 19 tribes are enlisted with the council along with the Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) and Naga Women Hoho Dimapur (NWHD). Each tribe has two votes while the DNSU has one and NWHD has two for the electoral process involving a total of 41 votes. Disclosing about the developments that took place on Tuesday at the council’s office, incumbent Secretary Temjen said that as per the executive meeting held on January 4, 2010, an election committee comprising of W Mero as Convener and Councilors- N M Ovung, Vikato Zhimomi, Kashiho Sangtam and R V S Zatrong - to oversee the entire election process. Temjen said the election commission held its meeting on February 8 where it decided to bring several changes ‘arbitrarily’ to the normal process where election was instead turned into selection. Taking strong exception to the changes which Temjen averred, were made to facilitate continuance without proper procedure, he said the six tribes of eastern Nagaland and Ao union had walked out of the Tuesday meeting. Incumbent Naga council Vice-President Bangerluba further stated that the electoral process could not be conducted by the Election Committee for reasons best known to the members. He also alleged that nominations were not carried nor the aspiring candidates invited to take part in the election. “Enough time was not given to raise the anomalies during the meeting”’ he asserted. According to a report made available to journalists , the Election Committee had already decided to select the names of Savi Legesie as president, Bangerluba as Vice-president, Ntsemo Ngullie as general secretary, L L Buming (Admn) and Joseph Shingnaiso as joint secretaries and Deitho Rakho as treasurer for tenure 2010-14. Interestingly, according to the report, the election committee at its February 8 meeting, had adopted the ‘selection method’ as a measure to avoid misunderstanding, disunity and monetary game which had been observed during the past elections. The EC had also recommended in doing away with the election process to avoid complete breakdown of the Naga Council image, unity, harmony, trust etc. The committee members justified their decision on the plea that the election process would bring unequal opportunities among the tribes due to “groupism, areaism and tribalism” and thereby turning the council into a political arena, if the elections were held. Reaffirming that the election commission had been constituted as per the laid down articles of the constitution, Temjen said the EC was set up as per the notification issued by the president on February 4 to undertake the ‘electoral process’ for the 2010-14 tenure. He said the EC was not empowered to change the process from election to selection but to carry out the election process as in the past. He also claimed that one of those selected by the EC- L L Buming- was appointed without consulting the ENPUD and thereby contravening the laid down procedures. Maintaining that unity among Naga tribes was the most important priority, Temjen said they were neither hasty in having walked out not stubborn to iron out differences. He disclosed that the seven tribes would hold a meeting to chalk out their next step. Meanwhile, a press release issued by the newly appointed general secretary Ntsemo Ngullie, informed that a meeting was held to deliberate on the issue pertaining to the Election Committee report and which was later passed with 2/3 majority. The Election Committee convenor W.Mero in another press statement also declared elected the Naga Council team headed by Savi Liegise as president and Bangerloba as vice president (both for the second five-year consecutive term),Ntsemo Ngullie as gen.secy;jt secy-L.L.Buming(adm) and Joseph SIngnaiso and Dietho Rakho as treasurer.

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