Simbarashe Musaki/ Tendai Dune
Over 3000 aspiring Members of Parliament and Councilors have thrown their Curriculum Vitaes in the hat ahead of the MDC-T’s primary elections, in a bid to be selected to represent the country’s largest opposition party under the banner of MDC Alliance, in the upcoming plebiscite.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, MDC-T national chairman Morgan Komichi said the identified candidates are to be screened through consensus building, prior to holding primary elections in the event of failing to reach unanimity.
He disclosed that 512 candidates are optimistic of representing the MDC-T, as parliamentary candidates, while the remainder is eyeing council seats.
“We are heartened that over 3000 people have submitted their CVs with a wish to represent MDC-T, which is contesting in the forthcoming harmonized elections under the banner of MDC-Alliance. Of the candidates we have identified, 512 want to represent the party as parliamentary candidates, while the rest wish to represent the 1958 local government wards in the country.
“Following the compilation of the approved candidate panel, the MDC-T is now undergoing a second stage of candidate selection were the party wants to centre its candidate selection process around the people, through a procedure that begins with the process of consensus between and among the candidates themselves with the primary election being the last resort if the candidates fail to agree among themselves,” said Komichi.
“During the consensus period, we don’t force anyone to withdraw. It will be voluntary withdrawal and as a party we are not going to impose candidates on anyone and we want to make sure that people choose their own candidate.
The MDC-T publicized that of the 210 parliamentary constituencies to be contested, only 114 were allocated to the country’s largest opposition party, while the remainder was distributed among other alliance partners.
Komichi guaranteed MDC-T supporters that his party will field candidates in all seats to be contested contrary to what transpired in 2008, when they miscarried to field 400 local government candidates.
He said his party will strive to abide by women, youths and persons with disabilities quota, during its candidate selection expected to be complete next week.
“We are a social democratic party and we are committed to abide by our values and resolutions among them the quota set aside for special groups. There will be a specific quota for persons with disabilities. The party will strive by all means to abide by women’s quota and the 20% youth quota during this candidate selection process,” he added.
MDC-T has a record of donating seats to the ruling party ZANU PF, due to double fielding of candidates as the party’s primary elections are almost always disputed, therefore consensus building is expected to cure the party’s syndrome.