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MDC Formation of Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Prepares for May Congress

Prospective MDC candidates in municipal elections would be required to be able to read and write to understand relevant laws, while those aiming for the office of mayor would have to show management qualifications

Shaping up for a party congress later this year, the formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has drafted proposals which would require five years membership for anyone seeking to run for office.

Sources said the pre-congress proposals also say a prospective candidate in municipal elections must be able to read and write in order to understand relevant laws.

To run for mayor a would-be MDC candidate would be required to have senior-level management skills, though it was unclear what this might mean in practice.

Sources within the former opposition party said the proposals could intensify squabbling within the party ahead of the May congress.

MDC Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri said proposals to change the party constitution regarding the selection of candidates came from the grass roots level.

But MDC Bulawayo Provincial Secretary Albert Mhlanga told VOA reporter Chris Gande that the proposals are unfair because they would exclude newer party members.