The Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai has hinted at participating in the 2018 harmonized elections, abandoning its earlier position never to participate without full and comprehensive electoral reforms.
Addressing journalists at the end of his party’s National Council in Harare on Tuesday, MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai said preparations for the 2018 elections will begin next year with a policy conference.
“The party has taken a decision to prioritize election preparedness in the year 2017. All our structures across the country, across villages and towns will collapse into a grand election machinery,” said Tsvangirai.
He added that his party will not abandon its push for electoral reforms saying platforms such as the National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) will be vital in the push for electoral reforms adding that Zimbabwe should seriously consider the credibility of elections to unlock international cooperation and support while getting rid of lack of confidence and isolation that have led to Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.
“2017 is going to be focused on campaigning for reforms, we will continue to pressurize ZEC, we will pressurize Zanu PF to realize that it is futile to go to an election which is disputed before it even begins, the illegitimacy continues, the country suffers through isolation, lack of confidence and I don’t think perpetuating that kind of environment is in the best interest of Zanu PF or in the best interest of the nation, so I think the question of reforms is an essential part of electoral management process,” said Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai expressed his party’s willingness to enter into a coalition with other opposition movements to enhance chances of defeating Zanu PF.
“The executive and council restated the party’s position on coalitions, which is consistent with our resolutions at Congress where we said we would work together with like-minded parties,” said Tsvangirai.
He went on to explain the guiding principles his party will use to determine coalition partners.
“The party, however, has today set and defined its principles for engagement with other parties in the coalition.
“In this regard we will engage with and seek to enter into an electoral alliance with political parties who share or subscribe to our vision of a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness,” said Tsvangirai.