On January 15, Zoramthanga, the former Chief Minister of Mizoram and President of the Mizo National Front (MNF) declared that he, along with Tawnluia, the former Deputy Chief Minister and Senior Vice President of the party, will no longer participate in electoral politics and will relinquish top positions within the MNF.
Zoramthanga, a three-time chief minister, shared that discussions with the party High Command led to the decision not to partake in the forthcoming organizational elections scheduled for this year. Addressing MNF party workers during the ‘Hnam Run’ event at the party office on January 15, Zoramthanga emphasized the need for the MNF to be led by new leaders, citing their age of over 80 years. He indicated that the party’s high command will be responsible for selecting future leaders.
Ahead of the upcoming MNF organizational elections, Zoramthanga has communicated to the high command his decision to abstain from nomination, along with Tawnluia, for top party leadership positions. This choice follows the MNF’s electoral setback in the state legislative assembly election held on November 7, where they secured only 10 seats, and the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) led by Lalduhoma defeated the MNF by a significant margin.
While Zoramthanga initially resigned as MNF chief on December 5 in response to the election results, his resignation was not accepted by the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) and National Core Committee (NCC) the following day.
The state assembly election marked a departure from the longstanding era of bipolar politics that had prevailed in Mizoram since 1987, following the historic accord signed between the underground MNF and the central government in 1986. Zoramthanga, who assumed the role of MNF chief after the death of underground leader Laldenga in 1990, led the party to victory in 1998 and 2003. Subsequently, the Congress defeated the MNF in 2008, governing the state for two consecutive terms before the MNF’s resurgence in the 2018 state assembly polls. Tawnluia, a former ‘army chief’ of the underground Mizo National Army (MNA), has been the second-in-command in both the government and the party since Zoramthanga assumed the role of party chief.