MDC To Boycott Polls If There Is Violence – Tsvangirai

Bulawayo, – PRIME Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has said his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will boycott planned elections next year if Zanu-PF supporters wage a campaign of violence and intimidation.

Tsvangirai, addressing party supporters at Beit Hall, Luveve in the country’s second city on Friday, said the MDC is ready for polls to undo a unity government he described as not functioning properly.

“We want elections next year to end this unhappy marriage with Zanu-PF.

"The MDC is ready for the elections but as a party, we will not participate in any election if there are incidences of violence and intimidation against out supporters,” Tsvangirai said to a wide applause from hundreds of party supporters.

The MDC leader, who was accompanied by senior party officials, is holding consultative meetings with party supporters countrywide ahead of planned polls next year.

Tsvangirai in 2008 boycotted a presidential run-off polls against President Robert Mugabe citing intimidation and violence that resulted in the death of hundreds of MDC supporters and the displacement of scores of others.

Mugabe has reiterated that the country will for elections mid next year with or without a new constitution to undo a power sharing agreement with the former opposition MDCs.

Tsvangirai also dismissed the ongoing constitution making process as a failure and described it is a transitional document which will be undone by an MDC government once elected into power.

But the country’s premier said the current ongoing process to ‘draft a transitional document is necessary to lay foundations for the holding of violent free elections.

“We are participating in this constitutional making process because we are in the GPA. The constitution that is going to come out from this process is only transitional document to facilitate the holding of violent free elections.

“…once the MDC is in power and not sharing power with Zanu-PF, a new constitution will be drafted because this ongoing constitution making process is a sham…” Tsvangirai added.

The constitution making process was marred by many problems, many related to financial challenges and violence.

Zanu-PF supporters were accused of coercing to espouse the party’s views.