Zimbabwe's main opposition calls for fresh polls again

Harare, Oct 31 (IANS) Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC-T party said Friday economic challenges confronting the country could only be resolved if the country holds free and fair polls.

MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters at the party’s 4th congress in Harare that Zimbabwe’s economic challenges were stemming from the country’s elections last year which the party alleged were not free and fair, Xinhua reported.

“Our national crisis can only be resolved by a return to legitimacy which can only happen after a fresh, credible election, ” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party lost to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party in last year’s elections.

He said his party would not contest in future elections unless reforms guaranteeing free and fair polls were implemented.

“The tough lesson we have learnt is that we will not legitimise Mugabe by participating in a sham election in the absence of key reforms that will protect the people’s will. We will never again participate in an election with a pre-determined outcome,” Tsvangirai said.

Having been at the helm of the party since its formation in 1999, Tsvangirai has contested and lost against President Robert Mugabe in three presidential polls.

His party has been further weakened by consecutive splits in 2005 and this year following disagreements over party governance.

The first split resulted in the formation of an MDC faction led by former secretary-general Welshman Ncube while the second has led to a breakaway faction led by former secretary-general Tendai Biti.

Tsvangirai said his party was confident of winning a free and fair election in 2018, and promised to usher in a more democratic government that prioritises economic growth and job creation.

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