Leaders for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai say the party is taking advantage of the close of government business during the holidays to step up its preparations for the crucial 2013 election.
Mr. Tsvangirai announced he is cutting short his vacation to focus on those preparations.
The election will be closely monitored by the regional and international community, as the previous election was marred by violence and ended with the formation of an inclusive government.
Zanu PF announced last week that it plans to hold primary elections in February, while its leader, President Robert Mugabe flew to China to start his annual vacation.
Zanu PF insiders say because the party is still unable to agree on the criteria for choosing its candidates, as there are serious divisions within the party, they will have to wait for Mr. Mugabe to return in approximately three weeks.
In previous years, Zanu PF has been forced to field more than one candidate in the same constituency, due to factionalism.
Nelson Chamisa, organizing secretary for the Tsvangirai formation of the MDC, told VOA that his party is finalizing its Electoral College delegates.
Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, says his party will also conduct primary elections in February, as it concentrates on building party structures, preparing for a referendum and a new constitution.
Interview With Nelson Chamisa