Mwonzora In Candidates Selection Panic
8 June 2023
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By-The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC has set this Thursday as the deadline for members aspiring to represent the party in the 2023 elections to submit their applications.
Mwonzora told the CITE that in constituencies where there are two candidates for one seat, the party would host one-day primaries across the country.
He said the party’s 50 sitting Members of Parliament were unchallenged and primaries will be conducted if there are at least two candidates for a constituency in the remaining 160 constituencies. Said Mwonzora:
Preparations for the elections are going on very well and as the MDC, we are finalising our candidate selection process and the deadline for all provinces to submit the names is Thursday.
If there is more than one candidate, we do a two-stage process where the first process is for the candidates to persuade each other on who must stand down and who must contest. This is possible and sometimes, this strategy works.
When the candidates don’t agree with each other, then we will do primary elections. Our primaries will be done in one day in the areas supposed to have those.
MPs in about 50 constituencies were not opposed internally. These candidates will be vetted by security and if by Thursday, the vetting has taken place, the candidates will straightaway submit their papers to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Mwonzora said the primaries will be confined to only party structures who have to vote for their preferred candidate when there is no consensus in the 60 remaining constituencies. He said:
We will give these candidates the weekend to make their consensus. If they don’t come up with one candidate, then we will fix a day countrywide.
The MDC primaries are not going to involve everyone but will be confined to the MDC structures at each level to vote.
So a smaller group of people will be voting and it is our hope that we have candidates in all the 210 constituencies.
Mwonzora also said MDC was also finalising its election manifesto which would be launched at the end of June.
The MCD failed to win a single parliamentary or local government seat in by-elections held since the last general elections in 2018.