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THE opposition MDC Renewal Team has demanded a moratorium on all by-elections until key reforms are implemented and insisted it would not participate in future general polls unless measures are taken to make the contest credible and fairer.

The group, which split from the Morgan Tsvangirai-led party, has also warned it would not take part in future elections unless reforms are implemented to ensure the process is no longer designed to ensure that Zanu PF retains its stranglehold on power.

In a statement after the group’s inaugural strategic planning meeting in Bulawayo last week, MDC Renewal chairperson, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, said all elections must be stopped until reforms are implemented.

“On electoral reforms, the MDC Renewal Team reaffirmed its position that there was an urgent need for political reforms before the 2018 national elections,” said Sipepa Nkomo.

“The party reiterated its position that NO REFORMS NO ELECTIONS and will not participate in any election until the playing field is levelled.

“The party urges the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to put a moratorium on by-elections until the electoral reform process is completed.”

Negotiations for the formation of a coalition between the MDCs and Zanu PF after the violent and inconclusive 2008 ballot centred on the need to implement reforms to ensure free and fair elections.

However, despite spending five years in government, the MDCs failed to force implementation of the reforms with the Renewal Team accusing Tsvangirai of taking his eye off the ball, distracted by the trappings of high political office.

The MDC-T leader accused Mugabe of rigging last year’s elections and later admitted that agreeing to participate in the vote without the reforms he needed had been a mistake.

Admitted the MDC-T leader in his July ‘personal reflections’ statement: “As we in the MDC have said, we had assumed that our sheer numbers were going to overwhelm the rigging plot. With the benefit of hindsight, we were wrong!”

Source : New Zimbabwe

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