Source: No party is too small for coalition: Ncube | The Herald December 23, 2016
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
MDC-N leader Professor Welshman Ncube has called for a grand coalition that is inclusive of all opposition political parties regardless of their status, to challenge President Mugabe in the 2018 harmonised elections.
He said the coalition should come up with a best candidate acceptable to the electorate.
The candidate, he said, should be able to deliver the values of the coalition.
“We think every vote counts,” Prof Ncube told a Press conference yesterday.
This comes after MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week set conditions for a possible coalition with Zimbabwe People First leader Dr Joice Mujuru and Prof Ncube’s MDC.
Mr Tsvangirai said his party sought a pact “that minimises the unknowns by providing an equitable and scientific and objective basis for approaching the election, based on known strengths of political leaders and parties nationally and in given electoral districts”.
However, Prof Ncube is of the view that even small opposition political parties can make a difference if the planned coalition entertains hopes of defeating the tried and tested Zanu-PF President and First Secretary.
“We hope that we can persuade others to that conviction so that no one is left behind,” said Prof Ncube.
“We desire to abandon no one. We desire to be as inclusive, as reasonably as possible, so that we all in one supreme effort make that final push to defeat the regime.”
Turning to the suitable candidate to lead the coalition, Prof Ncube said the most important thing was for the opposition parties to agree on one candidate.
“My own view as an individual will only be one tiny contribution,” he said.
He said the view of his party was obvious as it would seek to support him as president of the party and similarly with each of the other parties, would start from the premise of supporting their own leaders because “those are the leaders they have faith in.”
“But as a collective, we must then agree on one of us, on one candidate, and it is possible,” he said. “We should look at all the factors, which candidate is best able to deliver the maximum votes possible, which candidate is able to unite all of us, which candidate will receive general acceptance of the parties and more importantly, general acceptance of the electorate.”
Prof Ncube said the candidate should agree to work within the context and principles of the collective of the coalition.
“Those are some of the core things which we think should go towards determining who the candidate should be,” he said.
“In our view as MDC, one of the important considerations is the acceptance by each one of us to be willing to accept that the collective can choose someone other than you. I believe that if we all accept that principle, it will be a lot easier to agree on a single candidate.”
This emerged from the outcome of the MDC-N two-day national executive council meeting, which ended yesterday.
“The resolutions passed here are to ensure that we continue to talk to every party. That desire to talk to others and indeed to persuade those who do not desire to talk, that talking is necessary,” he said.
“Fortunately, in our conversation with all the other parties, everybody is committed to the principle of talking, committed to the principle of coalition building and that the opposition should have a single candidate to face the Zanu-PF candidate in 2018.”
Addressing journalists after an MDC-T national council meeting recently, Mr Tsvangirai said they had set and defined the party’s principles for engagement with other parties in the envisaged coalition.
“In this regard, we will engage with and seek to enter into an electoral alliance with political parties who share or subscribe to our vision of a society that prides itself for not leaving anyone behind in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and happiness,” he said.