Opposition parties subscribing to the National Elections Reform Agenda on Wednesday took turns to endorse the candidature of Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai in a major vote of confidence to the envisaged coalition ahead of the 2018 watershed elections
Parties that attended the NERA rally at the Freedom Square Zanu Ndonga, DARE, ZUNDE, Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ), African Democratic Party, Zimbabwe People First and Transform Zimbabwe all seemed to sing from the same hymn, endorsing Tsvangirai as the leader of the coalition that is expected to face off with Zanu PF in the 2018 elections.
Only People’s Democratic Party leader Tendai Biti seemed not to give Tsvangirai his endorsement.
In his address at the gathering, Tsvangirai called on parties to unite and remove Zanu PF calling on ZEC to be impartial in exercising its mandate.
“ZEC is an independent commission, whatever limitation they have, they have to accept that they have to like a referee between various players, if they have like a referee who throw away the whistle and join the other team, that’s not what we expect of them,” said Tsvangirai.
Current Convenor of NERA, Farai Mbira read out resolutions that the parties had agreed to petition ZEC including that the electoral body be disbanded and replaced by SADC, African Union and United Nations.
“We note that ZEC no longer meets the impartiality and independence required of an election management body, ZEC must forthwith disbanded and be dismantled,”
“SADC, AU and UN must immediately establish an independent tripartite election management body to take over the full functions of ZEC as defined in the constitution including the preparation of a new bio metric voters roll.
“The procurement of all necessary bio metric voter registration equipment, the compete demilitarisation of the entire election, facilitation of through amendment of the electoral act and all other legislation having a bearing on elections.
“Ensuring the 2018 election is run consistent with international best practices including the SADC guidelines. Ensuing in particle media access by all political parties, civil society and all other interested parties.
“Ensuring full international observation and monitoring by all UN affiliated bodies and countries at least 12 month before the 2018 elections,” reads the petition.
Meanwhile National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru and Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly were conspicuous by their absence from the gathering.