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Broadcast Journalist and Multimedia Producer based in Paris, France

Zimbabwe – MDC appeals to France for election support

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Zimbabwe Prime Minister and MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, June 2009, CC licence: Nick-Clegg

In an exclusive interview, Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told RFI on Tuesday that they will ask for help in organising elections which President Robert Mugabe has called for by the middle of 2011. Despite not having a new constitution the MDC is happy with, they have come up with what they call a “stopgap measure”.

“The campaign for a credible and legitimate plebiscite remains our core,” says Chamisa. The MDC is appealing to its international partners to do “whatever they can do to try and help.”

Chamisa says the MDC does not want see a repeat of recent elections in Myanmar “where it’s a charade”, something he describes as a “Muppet show”.

“We want a real election in Zimbabwe where people are given the right to choose, people are able to express themselves. We really want to deal with the chlorination of the environment, if I may call it that, to make sure it’s really on course,” he says.

“Whoever wins an election, that is beyond consternation and disputation, we’ll congratulate,” says Chamisa. He adds “certainly we’ll be the winners”.

When asked about electoral support from France and the European Union, Chamisa told RFI that there needs to be a “global and international effort by way of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe”.

“At the moment the conditions, objectively and subjectively, are not there to promote that voice with credibility and legitimacy,” he adds.

Chamisa says that Zimbabwe really needs a new constitution before elections can happen. This process has been “literally discredited itself because of violence, because of the involvement of the military, because of a lot of other issues that have poisoned the environment”.

However, he says they should not ditch work that has already been done. Instead the MDC is proposing a “transitional constitution” which will “archive the agenda for a new constitution” so that the country can hold elections.

He concedes that “incrementally” there are “good things” in the constitution that will enable Zimbabwe to conduct elections.

Daniel Finnan and Laura-Angela Bagnetto

Radio France Internationale

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  1. […] and an amazing person.  Nelson is in his early thirties, has been a leader in the fight for democracy his entire adult life, and has suffered greatly for it.  We often complain about the hassle of the […]

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