Tuesday, 1 August 2017

MDC IN TURMOIL OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Embattled MDC-T has been rocked by confusion over the criteria to use in selecting candidates for next year’s harmonised elections.

This follows pronouncement yesterday by the party’s spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu that the opposition might go for the consensus route, but would use primary elections as a last resort.

There have been media reports in the past week that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai banned primary elections, arguing that they were divisive.

The move created uproar in the opposition party as supporters and aspiring candidates rapped Mr Tsvangirai for being undemocratic by trying to protect sitting Members of Parliament.

The party supporters have accused some sitting legislators of failing to do meaningful work in their constituencies to deserve free tickets to represent the party in next year’s general polls.

When pressed yesterday, Mr Gutu was not decisive as to which criteria the party would use to select candidates for both Parliament and local authority elections.

“We actively and deliberately encourage our members to use consensus wherever possible and whenever this fails primary elections are then triggered,” he said. “There is absolutely no imposition of candidates in a progressive and democratic political party such as MDC.”

Mr Gutu was responding to enquiries on which criteria the party would use in the wake of reports that Mr Tsvangirai had banned primary elections.

According to reports, Mr Tsvangirai made the announcement when he met party structures in the capital where he reportedly said primary polls had an effect of creating divisions.

While on one hand Mr Gutu said they encouraged people to use consensus method whenever possible. He went on to say that his party’s national election directorate was still deliberating on the criteria to use in selecting candidates.

“The national election directorate of the MDC is seized with the matter of preparing a candidate selection template,” he said. “I am a member of that directorate and it is chaired by our national chairperson Honourable Lovemore Moyo.

“All genuine party cadres know that the template will be released to the relevant structures of the party.” Mr Gutu sought to rubbish media reports that Mr Tsvangirai had banned primary elections.

“We do not normally dignify falsehoods and rumours by responding to them substantively,” he said. “Those rumours are absolute trash and utter nonsense.” herald

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