EU urges peaceful political parties’ primary elections

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THE European Union (EU) and the Head of Mission of Switzerland have issued a statement encouraging all political parties that will contest in the upcoming 2018 polls to adhere to principles of mutual respect and tolerance for a peaceful, just and democratic society.

The Heads of Mission on Thursday reaffirmed their commitment to continued support to peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent 2018 harmonised elections.

This come after some various political parties aspiring candidates reported that their names have been omitted with nepotism being rife in the selection processes.

In the opposition MDC-T, allegations are that some candidates have already started campaigning in their constituencies or councils before the National Council’s announcement of those candidates that have qualified for the primaries.

In a statement, the party’s national chairperson Morgan Komichi has warned those members campaigning to stop forthwith.

“Those who have started campaigning now are showing a high level of indiscipline. Stop it! I put full responsibility on the provincial chairpersons to stop the practice in their respective areas. Those who ignore this instruction face serious censure,” said Komichi.

In Goromonzi this week, were reports that Zanu PF top officials including Labour Minister Petronella Kagonye and businessman and party activist Energy Mutodi allegedly stormed party offices in the district and attempted to take over the process of receiving and vetting CVs for potential candidates leading to ruling party members protesting against the move.

The EU statement read: “In light of the upcoming primary elections to select candidates of political parties, the Heads of Mission encourage all political parties to adhere to principles of mutual respect and tolerance in order to contribute to a peaceful, just and democratic society.

“We wish to emphasise the constitutional right of women to equal treatment and opportunities as well as full participation in the political sphere.”

The Heads of Mission further advised all parties and their supporters to respect the democratic principles and to act in a non-violent and peaceful manner and call on all stakeholders to condemn all types of violence and intimidation clearly and unequivocally during the candidature selection.