MDC gives ZANU-PF easy victory


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The Movement for Democratic Change gave the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front an easy victory in Seke raising the number of seats the ruling party held to 67, just two seats short of giving it a two-thirds majority that would enable the party to change the constitution.

ZANU-PF was likely to win another seat left vacant following the death of Eddison Zvobgo.

Although the MDC had boycotted the Seke election because of electoral imbalances, United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell said the decision could have put the party in a fix.

“The failure of MDC to put up a candidate has given the government added material for its rhetoric to domestic and regional audiences that MDC is a spent force afraid even to contest elections,” Dell said.

“More worrisomely, it may also give the ruling party an opening to both criticise the MDC for inconsistency should it later choose to contest elections, including especially the general election in the spring, and to claim that by participating the MDC has endorsed the fairness of the election.”

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 04HARARE1520, ZANU-PF WINS SEKE BY-ELECTION THE EASY WAY —

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE1520

2004-09-09 11:52

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

091152Z Sep 04

UNCLAS HARARE 001520

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR BNEULING

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVELLE, D. TEITELBAUM

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI ZANU PF

SUBJECT: ZANU-PF WINS SEKE BY-ELECTION THE EASY WAY —

UNOPPOSED

 

REF: A. HARARE 1444

 

B. HARARE 1429

 

1. (U) ZANU-PF candidate Phineas Chihota was declared the

winner of the Seke parliamentary by-election on September 3

when no other candidate filed for the seat by that day,s

deadline. The seat had become vacant following the death of

MDC MP Bennie Tumbare-Mutasa in July. ZANU-PF now has 67

seats in parliament, bringing it to within two seats of the

two-thirds majority needed to enact constitutional

amendments. No election has as yet been scheduled to fill

the seat of the recently deceased ZANU-PF MP Eddison Zvobgo

(ref A), a seat ZANU-PF is certain to hold.

 

2. (U) The official Herald newspaper reported on September 8

that the government adopted the draft Zimbabwe Electoral

Commission Bill and plans to gazette it soon. The MDC

continues to maintain that the draft bill does not meet its

requirements for electoral reform (ref B).

 

3. (SBU) COMMENT: This is the first election the MDC has sat

out since declaring it would boycott elections unless

electoral imbalances are addressed. This no doubt seemed to

the MDC a low-risk implementation of the policy, since it was

not likely an MDC candidate would have won the by-election.

However, the failure of MDC to put up a candidate has given

the government added material for its rhetoric to domestic

and regional audiences that MDC is a spent force afraid even

to contest elections. More worrisomely, it may also give the

ruling party an opening to both criticize the MDC for

inconsistency should it later choose to contest elections,

including especially the general election in the spring, and

to claim that by participating the MDC has endorsed the

fairness of the election. Rather than putting pressure on

the ZANU-PF, the MDC may have painted itself into a corner.

END COMMENT.

Dell

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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