POLITICAL analysts have roundly condemned the MDC-T’s “opaque” candidate selection criterion for aspiring parliamentarians and councillors saying it was undemocratic and riddled with loopholes.
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
The system, they said, was meant to guarantee re-election of sitting MPs by thwarting competition.
MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announced over the weekend that his party would only conduct primary elections in constituencies where the MDC-T was not represented, while supporters would be asked to confirm sitting MPs in their areas.
The move has reportedly caused tensions within the party with aspiring candidates claiming the decision was against the party’s democratic values.
It is understood that the strategy to confirm sitting MPs was hatched by some top party members who feared losing their positions to aspiring candidates.
Analysts yesterday said Tsvangirai’s move was “undemocratic and tantamount to imposition of candidates”.
Academic Wellington Gadzikwa said: “The system is meant to protect those already in power. Who are they going to call to confirm the sitting MPs? How many people will have to confirm?
“If they really want those who have support from the people, they should go for primary elections. This system is not very clean and it’s tantamount to imposition of candidates.”
Another analyst Alexander Rusero said the system was riddled with loopholes and urged the MDC-T to adopt a more democratic process.
“There are people who are already strategising and claiming to be Tsvangirai’s people. I think that is mob democracy that has loopholes. Those who embezzled funds should be rejected and it’s good, but it has loopholes. I think they should just do the right thing,” Rusero said.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Charity Manyeruke said: “It is problematic because elections are very critical for Zimbabwe and it’s very important that they demonstrate to the people that we mean it when we say Zimbabwe is a democratic State and anyone should have a right to choose a leader of his or her choice.”
Manyeruke added: “The criterion has to be open to every citizen.
“Reserving positions for people is problematic. Electoral processes should be open and enable legislators to have meaningful projects in their areas and to promote accountability.”