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‘Poll solely for presidency’

THE MDC-T national executive and council yesterday said the next poll should be solely for the presidential election, proposing that a harmonised one should be held in 2013 as prescribed by the constitution.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai told journalists in the capital that the council had resolved that the next election, which President Robert Mugabe wants mid-next year, should be held only to deal with the disputed 2008 presidential poll, which led to the formation of the inclusive government.
“Council notes and restates the position that an election in Zimbabwe should be held with the question of illegitimacy associated with the farcical presidential runoff election of June 2008,” Tsvangirai said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, council resolves that the next election should be solely for the disputed presidential election of 2008 with a harmonised election to be held in 2013 as prescribed in the constitution.”
The issue has been contentious, with legislators from all parties arguing that the only disputed election was presidential and therefore their five-year terms should not be cut short. 
But under the current constitution, elections in Zimbabwe have to be harmonised to include presidential, parliamentary and local government polls. 
Tsvangirai reiterated that if the elections were to be held next year they should be in line with Sadc guidelines for a free and fair poll.
“Council notes that the Sadc roadmap on elections dealing with the creation of adequate conditions for free and fair elections, guarantees against violence and security of the person…be put in place before the aforesaid elections,” he said.
Tsvangirai added that proper monitoring and policing of the election, including the question of Sadc’s presence six months after the election, should also be put in place prior to elections.
He also wants guarantees with respect to the honouring of the people’s will. Among other issues discussed by the council were outstanding issues, violence and intimidation, WikiLeaks, Chiadzwa diamonds and the constitution-making process. The MDC-T leader called on Sadc to immediately reconvene the aborted extraordinary meeting of the Sadc Troika of November 20 so that outstanding issues, a roadmap to elections and “toxic issues including the issue of violence, deployment of security agents in the countryside and a corrosive media” are resolved.
Tsvangirai also announced that the party would be holding its congress next year by May 30.
“Council further waives strict compliance with the time limits provided in the constitution,” he said without elaborating.
Tsvangirai said serving and retired security personnel should be withdrawn from the rural areas which he described as a “machination of inculcating a culture of fear amongst the rural people”.
In addition, he pleaded with the Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the judiciary to prosecute “all perpetrators of violence”.
Tsvangirai also urged the South African government to release the judges’ report into the electoral violence of 2002 and the South African generals’ report of the 2008 electoral violence.
He said the council noted that there was rampant corruption taking place in Chiadzwa and urged the immediate drafting of the Diamond Act.
“Council notes the leakages, corruption, opaqueness and lack of accountability associated particularly with minerals and extractive industries in general,” Tsvangirai said.
In response to the WikiLeaks, the MDC-T leader said his party was not going to be divided by the diplomatic leaks which he accused Zanu PF and state agencies of using to try and derail the party.


Wongai Zhangazha

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