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MDC gears up for primary elections

SELECTION of candidates to represent the MDC formation led by professor Welshman Ncube will begin in the next two weeks, party secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has said.

Mushonga said this followed the expiry of Friday’s deadline for interested MDC members to submit applications to represent the party in the forthcoming harmonised elections.

She said while other parties were holding primary elections, the MDC had opted for a process where candidates would be selected through “consensus”.

“I have already sent a memo to provinces to start preparing for the consensus-building process. This involves candidates holding discussions with the constituents to outline what they are offering with the hope of agreeing on a single nominee, without going for primary elections,” Mushonga said.

She said only in circumstances where consensus is not reached, would primary elections be held.

Mushonga said through the “consensus building discussions”, candidates would be fully appraised
of the posts available for contest.

She said when the party initially invited applications, the new Constitution had not been passed. The new Constitution recently signed into law by President Robert Mugabe, now has provisions for the setting up of provincial councils as part of devolution. Parties are also going to submit names of women to be considered for the 60 seats reserved for women, under the proportional representation system.

Mushonga said her party would field candidates in all constituencies and wards throughout the country.

She could not be drawn to divulge the names of some of the notable people who had applied to contest elections on an MDC ticket. Mushonga only said some of the candidates had a potential to upset rivals from both Zanu PF and MDC-T.

In the 2008 elections, the MDC won 10 parliamentary since seats in Matabeleland, but has lost a majority of these through expulsions and defections.


Mushonga said people from different backgrounds were keen to represent the MDC in parliamentary and local elections.

“We have a complete mix of all classes, ranging from intellectuals, the middle class and the very rich who now have a sense that to protect your wealth, you have to join politics,” she said. “We also have good candidates for councillors, some of them business people and property owners. There are also many young people who are coming in to contest.”

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