Tsvangirai threatens 2018 boycott

MDC-T will not take part in the 2018 general polls if the Zanu (PF) government fails to bow to increasing calls for electoral reforms says MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai. He made the bold statement over the weekend while addressing thousands of unemployed citizens at the party’s rally in the city’s populous suburb of Mkoba.

MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai.
MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai.

“No reforms no elections. Let them rule. We have come to realise that the popular party (MDC-T) is not in government. It is rather the unpopular party Zanu (PF) that is in power but without the people’s mandate. Why is that so? The answer is simple and it is because we have allowed ourselves to be involved in these sham elections. Now we have learnt from our mistakes and we will not take part in any future elections without reforms that all, including us, can endorse,” said Tsvangirai.

Recently the MDC-T national executive committee and national council endorsed the party’s position to boycott the June 10 by-elections occasioned by the recall of 21 MDC Renewal MPs last month. Fourteen parliamentary seats mostly in Harare and Bulawayo will be contested.

Tsvangirai said his party wouldgo into the constituencies where the by-elections will be held and urge the party’s supporters to stay away. “We have resolved to visit those areas and urge our supporters to popularise the slogan ‘No reforms, No Elections.’ That way we are satisfied Zanu (PF) will finally realise the importance of the necessary reforms.”

MDC-T is demanding access to the electronic version of the voters roll. They also demand equal and unfettered access to the public electronic and print media. The party also wants traditional leaders to desist from intimidating voters and ensure that MDC-T supporters in rural areas are allowed to attend political meetings of their choice. The party also complains of indirect intimidation of MDC-T supporters by state security agents in urban areas – particularly in high density suburbs.

Some political commentators say the party will dent its support base, especially in areas where it has held sway in the past decade, if it does not contest the polls. Others have pointed out that the party has sold out to Zanu (PF). On the other hand, others say the MDC-T is right in its boycott as participating would legitimise the flawed electoral process, the predetermined outcome of which would not benefit the nation at large anyway.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *