The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube and Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu on Friday announced an election pact in which they have agreed, among other concessions, to support each other’s candidates where one party has not fielded anyone and drop some candidates to remain with one where possible.
Addressing a press conference in Bulawayo, the two leaders said while this alliance does not exclude future agreements with other parties, it makes it impossible for either party to enter into any other agreement before and after the elections without the other.
Mr. Dabengwa said the agreement will see the two parties campaigning for one candidate where the other has not fielded a representative while talks continue for some candidates to withdraw where possible.
He said, already, his party’s Bulawayo East candidate, Mr. Roger Muhlwa has stepped down in favour of the MDC’s David Coltart.
Mr. Ncube confirmed that the alliance, while not excluding other political players, presents the two parties as a united front in any future negotiations in the event of a run-off presidential election or in the formation of an inclusive government.
Mr. Ncube added that contrary to media reports that his party has been negotiating with the MDC formation led by Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai on the vice presidency and cabinet posts, his party has not engaged any other on a possible future government.
He said, however, Zapu and his party are still engaging to resolve the issue of one presidential candidate for both parties after the two leaders handed in their nomination papers.
Political analyst, Mr. Siphatho Ncube said while it is too early to predict the impact of this election pact on the political arena, the alliance is a welcome development especially for the region since it is built on principles of devolution of power which will hopefully end the marginalisation of some regions through the centralisation of power.
The two parties have less than a month to resolve any outstanding candidacy issues following Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling in Harare upholding July 31 as the election date.