Nagaland ULB Polls: All You Need To Know - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland ULB polls: All you need to know

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: May 28, 2024 12:46 am
Nagaland
A partial view of Kohima (EM Images)

KOHIMA — In less than a month from now, Nagaland will head for the much-delayed urban local bodies (ULBs) elections, marking the election of representatives to the 39 municipalities across the state, in 20 years.

The election, scheduled to be held on June 26, will be historic, as it will see the implementation of 33% reservation for women in the civic bodies. With the announcement of the polling date, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect late last month.

The State Election Commission has announced the schedule for the elections, with the nomination period set from June 7 to the 11th, and the last date for withdrawal of candidacies on June 18. The counting and declaration of results is scheduled for June 29, with June 28 has been earmarked for re-poll, if any.

The election will be held for 39 municipalities, consisting of three municipal councils — Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung — and 36 town councils. A total of 142 wards have been reserved for women out of 418 wards across all 39 municipalities.

The number of wards reserved for women in each council varies, starting from three up to eight wards on a rotational basis.

Out of the 36 town councils in the state, 14 are in six eastern districts of Kiphire, Longleng, Mon, Noklak, Shamator and Tuensang, where the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation has called for abstention from participating in all state and central elections, including the ULB.

Nagaland

Who can vote?

According to the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023, every person whose name is entered in the electoral roll for a particular ward is eligible to vote and elect a councillor for the ward.

Duration of municipalities

The term of municipalities, unless dissolved, is for five years from the date of its first meeting after the election.

Obligatory functions of municipal/ town council

As per the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023, the obligatory functions of the municipal council include urban and town planning, regulation of land use and construction of buildings, planning for economic and social development, public health, sanitation, conservancy, and solid waste management.

It also includes urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion of ecological aspects, safeguarding the interest of weaker sections of society including persons with physical and mental disabilities, and slum improvement and upgrading.

The functions also included provision of urban amenities and facilities such as roads, parks, gardens, playground(s), street lighting, parking lots and public conveniences.

Other functions include promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects, burials and burials grounds, cremations, cremation grounds and electric crematoriums, cattle ponds, prevention of cruelty to animals, vital statistics including registration of births and deaths, and regulation of slaughter house and tanneries, among others.

The town councils, subject to their financial resources and organisational capacity, can also be assigned functions typically held by municipal councils specified under section 59 or any other matter specified to town councils in the Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution, via notification from the government.

It may be recalled that the first municipal election in Nagaland, excluding the Mokokchung Municipal Council, was held in 2004, following the implementation of the Municipal Act of 2001. This Act, later repealed and replaced by the Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023, did not include a 33% reservation for women. The term of these municipalities ended in 2009-2010. 

Attempts to hold elections in 2017 were met with violent protests over a range of issues including reservation for women and property taxes, among others.

Following pressure from civil society organisations, the Nagaland Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to repeal the 2001 Act. The new Nagaland Municipal Act of 2023 was subsequently enacted, paving the way for the upcoming elections with the long-awaited 33% reservation for women.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: May 28, 2024 12:46:16 am
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