Lal Thanhawla to re-assume office in Mizoram Saturday

Aizawl, Dec 11: The Congress government led by incumbent Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla will re-assume office for the second successive term Saturday, officials said in the Mizoram capital Wednesday.

“Mizoram Governor Vakkom B. Purushothaman will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Thanhawla and his cabinet colleagues Saturday at 11 a.m. at Raj Bhavan,” a senior official of the Mizoram Chief Minister’s Office told IANS.

Newly elected Congress party legislators Wednesday met here and formally elected 71-year-old Thanhawla as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.

Subsequently, Governor Vakkom B. Purushothaman invited Thanhawla to form the government after the Congress staked the claim to form the next government.

This is the sixth time, including two consecutive terms, that the Congress has come to power in the mountainous state, which shares borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

In the Nov 25 Mizoram assembly elections, results of which were declared Monday, the ruling Congress swept 33 of the 40 seats (one seat more than in the outgoing house), leaving five seats to the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and one for the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC).

The result of Lawngtlai East constituency was withheld because of defective electronic voting machines at one polling station.

Repolling at the Tialdawngilung polling station is being held Wednesday and counting of votes will be held Thursday.

The Congress is leading in the constituency.

Thanhawla, who will assume the chief minister’s office for a fifth term, won from two assembly seats — Serchhip and Hrangturzo (both in central Mizoram) — defeating his MNF and MPC rivals respectively.

Thanhawla, also the state Congress chief who established the party’s base in the Christian-dominated and tribal majority northeastern state in the ’70s, has been elected to the assembly for a record ninth time since 1978.

Thanhawla, a former journalist, first became chief minister in 1984.