The election is slated for November 25. As many as 142 candidates are contesting the 40 seats in the State Assembly.

Reang tribe refugees stranded in camps in Kanchanpur of north Tripura have started exercising their franchise in the elections to the Mizoram Assembly. The Election Commission has set November 19 and 20 for conducting the poll in six make-shift camps housing around 35,000 people who fled Mizoram in 1997 to escape ethnic riots.

Except for this special arrangement, the Mizoram Assembly election is slated for November 25. As many as 142 candidates are contesting the 40 seats in the State Assembly.

“Some 11,669 camp inmates are eligible to vote. Six centres have been opened for them to cast their vote in paper ballot,” North Tripura district magistrate Parshant Kumar Goyal told the Hindu on Tuesday. The voting process was continuing in a few centres even at night, he said.

The Election Commission has appointed six observers and a special observer to oversee the poll process that involves nearly 100 election staff from Mizoram. The Tripura Government has arranged logistics, transportation and security for them as per the directive of the commission.

“The exercise so far has been completely peaceful. No complaint received from any side,” Mr. Goyal said. He and other senior officials of the Tripura Government are present in the camps.

The Election Commission’s special observer Amit Jha, also the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka, visited all six polling centers. Mr. Jha and other observers would be travelling to Mizoram on Thursday morning with the ballots polled in the camps.

The voters in the refugee camps represent 10 assembly constituencies in Mizoram. Leaders and supporters of major political parties, including Congress and Mizo National Front, were engaged in hectic campaigning to woo the Reang voters.

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