Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will not take part in elections until reforms are made, media reports said on Saturday. “Unless there are reforms, participation in those by-elections would be futile,” said Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist who beat long-time leader Robert Mugabe in the first round of presidential elections in 2008 and later served as prime minister in a coalition government. His comments were carried by the official Herald daily.
Tsvangirai, 63, was quoted as saying: “We also noted that what is happening in this country will not end until the people of Zimbabwe are able to be mobilised to take action [and] pressurise government to stop all abuses.”
The decision almost certainly means that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party will now win an extra 14 seats in parliament in by-elections due in June.
The 14 seats are among 21 won by the MDC in 2013 but declared vacant last month at the wish of Tsvangirai after the sitting MPs broke away from the main opposition party to form a smaller group calling itself MDC-Renewal.
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