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Zapu to Field 96 Parliamentary Candidates, Grand Coalition Talks Collapse

Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa says his party will field candidates in most constituencies as coalition discussions with other political parties have not been conclusive.

This is the first time since the 1987 unity agreement was signed between Zanu PF and PF Zapu that the party will be fielding candidates in an election.

Addressing journalists on election-related issues, Mr. Dabengwa, said the on-going unsatisfactory voter registration exercise and the unity government’s failure to implement the elections road map that would have seen some democratic reforms being implemented ahead of the polls, will not deter his party from participating in the elections.

Dabengwa, who has been nominated as Zapu’s presidential candidate by the party’s 14 provinces, said candidates have already been selected and will field them in constituencies where the party has strong support.

He said Zapu will field candidates in more than 80 percent of the 120 parliamentary constituencies.

The former ZIPRA military supremo says the elections must deliver a Zapu government or Zapu as a strong opposition to the new government.

Dabengwa said Zimbabweans should not worry about army generals’ political statements that they will not salute a president without war credentials saying the majority of officers in the country’s security agencies are professional and will respect the will of the people.

At the same time, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday filed nomination papers for its candidates.

MDC-T secretary general and Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, told VOA Studio 7 from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices that he filed papers for his party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Tsvangirai and all parliamentary candidates.

Officials from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC said they were going to field their papers Wednesday while Zanu PF was still busy selecting candidates.

Advance nominations allow electoral officials to scrutinise nomination papers before actual nominations and make corrections as well as give political parties the chance to replace candidates in the event of death.

Nominations for the 2013 harmonised elections take place on Friday unless the Constitutional Court changes the elections dates as requested by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.