The MDC, under the leadership of Douglas Mwonzora, has set a crucial deadline for aspiring candidates to submit their applications by this Thursday. In constituencies where multiple candidates are vying for a single seat, the party plans to hold one-day primaries nationwide.

Mwonzora revealed that the party’s 50 sitting Members of Parliament faced no internal challenges, leaving the remaining 160 constituencies in need of candidate selection.

“We are making excellent progress in preparing for the elections. As the MDC, we are finalizing our candidate selection process, and the deadline for all provinces to submit names is Thursday,” Mwonzora shared in an interview with CITE.

Prospective candidates were required to apply to the party, expressing their interest in running. In cases where there are multiple candidates, Mwonzora outlined a two-step process to determine the final contender.

“In instances where we have more than one candidate, we engage in a two-stage process. The candidates are given an opportunity to persuade one another on who should step down and who should contest. This strategy often works,” explained Mwonzora.

If consensus cannot be reached through this approach, the party proceeds with primary elections.

“When candidates fail to reach an agreement, primary elections will be conducted. Our primaries will be held in a single day in the relevant areas,” added the MDC leader, who also stated that the unopposed 50 MPs would submit their nomination papers once they successfully completed the vetting process.

Mwonzora emphasized that the primary focus would then shift to the remaining 160 constituencies with multiple aspiring candidates.

“We will provide these candidates with the weekend to reach a consensus. If they fail to agree on a single candidate, we will set a nationwide date. The MDC primaries will involve only party structures at each level casting their votes,” he clarified.

Mwonzora further disclosed that the MDC was finalizing its election manifesto and chief campaign message, which would be launched by the end of June.

“Our message revolves around offering and advocating for free education, free healthcare, free maternity services, interest-free loans for small businesses, agricultural input subsidies such as fertilizers and chemicals, and the restoration of value to pensions through complete recalibration. Essentially, we are focusing on social democratic issues that resonate with the people,” summed up the party leader.