MDC expected to pull out of Zimbabwe polls

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Original Post Date: 2004-08-25  Posted By: Jan

From the News Archives of: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
Date & Time Posted: 8/25/2004 4:01:11 PM
MDC expected to pull out of Zimbabwe polls

MDC expected to pull out of Zimbabwe polls

From the News Archives of: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org

Date & Time Posted: 8/25/2004 4:01:11 PM

MDC expected to pull out of Zimbabwe polls

Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is expected to announce later on Wednesday that it has “suspended” participation in all future elections at both national and local government level.

The MDC will also withdraw its elected councillors, who control the Harare City Council, with immediate effect.

The announcement will be made under the banner, “the spirit of Mauritius”, at a press conference and briefing to diplomats in Harare on Wednesday.

‘The MDC will also withdraw its elected councillors’
A working committee met near Pretoria last week and returned with recommendations for the MDC national executive that participation in elections was “a waste of time and resources” until electoral standards adopted at
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Mauritius last week are in place.

If there is no substantial move to amend or repeal laws to allow for “real” electoral reform in accordance with the SADC protocol, then the MDC will not participate in next year’s parliamentary poll either, according to party insiders this week.

The MDC says it will not stop political activity and has already applied for police permission for a series of rallies to explain its decision and celebrate its fifth anniversary.

The working committee, lead by secretary-general Welshman Ncube on his way back from Mauritius, analysed reports arising from MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s consultations with the party’s structures around the country over the past three months.

According to reports from each district, elected party officials recommended that the party “suspend” participation in elections at all levels.

“It’s one thing to be beaten up or killed for taking part in elections, but it’s another to have the election rigged as well,” was the message Tsvangirai reportedly brought back to his national leadership.

The MDC has “reserved the right” to pull out of all municipalities – and its candidates won most urban elections – depending on “circumstances on the ground”.

The government arrested then sacked Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri a year after he won with a massive majority in 2002.

Ncube is scheduled to tell Harare City councillors today that if they don’t quit they will not be representing the MDC.

The MDC’s 38-man national executive is expected to endorse the working committee’s recommendations today as many of them have debated among themselves, and in the media, that participation in elections did nothing but give “legitimacy” for President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Argus on August 25, 2004

Source: Independent Online (IOL)