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Tsvangirai backtracks on election boycott

Tsvangirai backtracks on election boycott

MOrgan Tsvangirai

By
Published: 13 September 2015

ZIMBABWE – MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has dismissed the claim that his party has resolved to boycott elections, saying his party is pushing for meaningful reforms before polls can be conducted.

Addressing hundreds of party supporters, representatives of civil society and diplomats who included the French ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Delahousse, at the launch of the MDC-T Without Reforms, No Elections (WReNe) document in Harare on Thursday, Tsvangirai said future elections must subvert people’s will.


“We have decide to launch the No Reforms, No Elections document so that never again shall people’s will be subverted by any party or individual.

“MDC has never said we are boycotting. We can’t boycott elections in the face of overwhelming demand by Zimbabweans. All we are saying is that they must be free, fair and credible,” said Tsvangirai.

He said Zimbabwe had witnessed acute capital flight from 2013 when the last general elections were held because the polls were illegitimate.

“No-one will dare put money in this economy because of the illegitimacy that came with the elections of 2013.

“What we are saying to SADC is that if elections can be held freely and fairly in other countries, what is different in Zimbabwe? The answer is that (President Robert) Mugabe does not want to transfer power to anyone,” said Tsvangirai.

He described Mugabe’s government as unstable, adding that the economy was imploding.

“Literally, this country is on its own. During the GNU (government of national unity) we insisted that we mustn’t have elections unless there were reforms but Mugabe went ahead so as to subvert the will of the people,” he said.

The MDC-T leader, however, admitted that his party had made a mistake by participating in the 2013 elections.

He said the overwhelming crowds that had attended his party’s rallies ahead of the polls that Zanu-PF won with an overwhelming but contested majority made them believe that this support would bring change, “but that was a misplaced view”.

The WReNe document spells out the basic requirements for a free and fair elections.

It calls for non-partisan voter education and independent voter registration and polling while calling for the imopartiality of traditional chiefs who have been accused of favouring Zanu-PF.

MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora, said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) must be the institution to compile a new voters’ roll that must be used in any elections since the adoption of a new constitution in 2013.

“But all the by-elections that we have seen this year were based on the roll that was compiled by the registrar general. That means the elections were illegal because they did not follow the stipulations of the constitution,” said Mwonzora.

Six opposition parties were represented at the launch of the WReNe document.