Tsvangirai sets coalition terms

HARARE - A fired up opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, yesterday gave the strongest hint to date that he is raring to lead the mooted grand coalition in the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections, after he set clear conditions for the mooted pact.

The former Prime Minister in the inclusive government, who commands a huge following among Zimbabweans and remains the only politician in the history of the post-independence state to defeat President Robert Mugabe, also said opposition parties needed to field a candidate in 2018 with a real chance of winning that year's poll.

Addressing the media after a meeting with the MDC's national executive and national council in Harare, Tsvangirai said in light of the national consensus for the mooted opposition alliance, his party had set and defined its principles for engagement with other parties in the proposed coalition.

“The presidential candidate must be selected on the basis of the best individual who can win an election for the coalition against the incumbent. The party, based on past performance and other factors, and which is the strongest electorally in a given constituency must also field the candidate for the coalition.

“The MDC is persuaded to be part a people-based pre-plection pact for the reasons that we are a people-based party with an electoral history and which subscribes to the democratic principle that the authority to govern is derived from the people,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai said he wanted a situation where after successfully winning the election, the coalition president would have the power to appoint a national executive that would include his or her deputies and ministers, in line with the constitution.

He said the ensuing cabinet also needed to be lean but competent, regionally and gender-balanced, and inclusive of all alliance partners — and above all have respect for other stakeholder interests including youth and minority groups.

Tsvangirai and the leader of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF), Joice Mujuru, have been involved in secret talks to form an alliance ahead of the 2018 elections, although they have left the door open for smaller parties to be part of the grand coalition.

Already, 18 opposition parties — including the MDC and the ZPF — are coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) and have recently scored a psychological victory by forcing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to include them in committees tasked with working on the 2018 election preparatory works.

Analysts have consistently said that a united opposition, fighting with one purpose, would bring to an end Mugabe’s long rule — especially at this time when the country's economy is dying and the increasingly frail nonagenarian is battling to keep his warring Zanu PF united.

Since Mujuru joined hands with Tsvangirai and marched with him in the streets of Gweru in August this year — in a rare public display of unity among the opposition — there have been growing calls by fed up citizens for the formation of a grand opposition alliance.

And speaking to the Daily News in October after defeating Zanu PF in the Norton by-election, independent legislator Temba Mliswa said among the lessons that long-suffering Zimbabweans and the country's brutalised opposition could learn from his stunning victory then, was that they could once again defeat Mugabe and Zanu PF, just as Tsvangirai and the MDC had done in 2008.

Comments (6)

Operation Molotov. Each opposition party can keep its manifesto whilst helping each other campaign vigorously in a mandated area like what America.Russia. Canada and Britain did to overcome a dictator Hitler. Mujuru can conxentrate on all of Mashonaland regions including towns. Morgan Hre. Manicaland. Masvingo.Byo and Mat North. Welshman Mat South. Then a mixed bag in Midlands. Some like Makoni. Mavhaire can be chipped in in their areas of strength. MT or Joice can lead coalition depending on who wins the peoples primary. Dictator must go

Serkie. - 14 December 2016

Mliswa the victory you are talking about-Your rallies were full of MDC T supporters so stop boasting Without MDC T hapana chaibuda I don't trust you Themba Yes opposition should start discussing strategy now because come 2018 people will be fighting for leadership instead of concentrate to win elections

gonyeti 2 - 14 December 2016

How relevant is Morgan to our democracy and way forward? Only the starbom and naïve voters still see the role of this man. How we forget the way we created Robert and praised him only to be where we are. This man has shown beyond doubt his short comings and corrupt tendencies, not to mention the Incompetence but alas the northern voters again

gearge bango - 14 December 2016

The MDC-T was boycotting all national elections demanding electrol reforms,which i understand have not been done to this day.What i don't understand is whether the MDC-T will participate or not,in the 2018 national elections before electrol reforms.The party leader,Morgan Tsvangirai,has already set the coaliation conditions,meaning the party is ready to contest the 2018 n ational elections,with or without electrol reforms.Can someone help to clear this confusion.Are we going to see wholesale electrol reforms between now and 2018 national elections.

Wilbert - 15 December 2016

This thing of coalition government is nothing Tsvangirai, If those pple would want to join MDC, they should start from the bottom of the party till they rise through needs of the party. We don'tabout other pple we will win alone if we get organised.

Mwana Vevhu - 15 December 2016

Let it b done properly,the issue of choosing a credible coaliation leader,make a method of consulting all pple&stake holders.Itz true Mugabe will fall if sense wil prevail.Do it the way-proper primary elections&then national level-all who want contest must do it freely,remember contestants are not enemies thatz democracy&losers must not b reactionary.Pliz don't impose Tsvangirai, he has already shown us his ways ,allow them all to contest &let us elect them.Plz let sense prevail-Mugabe will fall.No need to have Tsvangirai -Mugabe presidential race, every election year

addmore gudo - 2 January 2017

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