Party leader calls for GPA implementation

welshmanHARARE The new leader of one of Zimbabwes three ruling parties has called on the parties to fully implement their more than two years old power-sharing agreement before new elections can be held. (Pictured: Welshmen Ncube)

Welshmen Ncube, who at the weekend took over from Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as leader of the smaller MDC party, said all clauses of the power-sharing pact known as the global political agreement (GPA) must be implemented in order to avert political violence and another disputed poll as happened three years ago.

Ncube said the troubled coalition government that has brought economic stability but has struggled to implement political reforms should be given until 2013 to implement the GPA and democratic reforms.

He said: Our position as MDC is that we want to see the full implementation of the GPA so that we dont have a repeat of the 2008 situation. We want this political and economic stability that we are experiencing now to continue until the full legal term of Parliament comes to an end in 2013.

Ncube dismissed calls by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who heads the main MDC formation, for elections this year as political grandstanding, saying democratic polls were impossible in Zimbabwe without a new constitution to guarantee a free and vote as well as the basic freedoms of citizens.

He said: The constitution making process must be completed . restore political freedoms, freedom of speech, media freedom and the right to campaign freely before any election can be held.

Zimbabwes elections have been characterised by political violence and gross human rights abuses with the last vote in June 2008 ending inconclusively after the military-led campaign of violence and murder that forced then opposition leader Tsvangirai to withdraw from a second round presidential ballot.

Tsvangirai had been tipped to win the second round election after beating Mugabe in the first round ballot but without the percentage of votes required avoiding the second round run-off poll

The former foes eventually bowed to pressure from southern African leaders to agree to form a government of national unity whose future is uncertain, with Mugabe insisting Zimbabwe must hold elections by next June to choose a new government to replace the coalition administration.

According to the GPA, Zimbabwe must first write a new and democratic constitution before holding fresh elections. However a multi-party parliamentary committee leading the writing of the new constitution is lagging behind and is not seen producing a new charter by June when Mugabe says a new vote must take place.

But Mugabe, who wields the most power in the unity government, has previously said Zimbabwe can still hold elections with or without a new constitution. — ZimOnline

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