Opposition MMD has asked its lose alliance partner UPND to be considerate and allow the former ruling party contest the Mansa Central by-election slated for next month.
MMD elections chairperson Kenneth Chipungu told the Daily Nation in an interview that it was only fair that the UPND exercised sincerity and honest by allowing the party which was popular in Mansa to contest the election.
Chipungu said that it was not the issue of power but strength between the two parties in Mansa, adding that the MMD had better chances of winning the seat than to the UPND.
“We have structures ourselves on the grassroots there in Mansa and so far over four people have already applied to contest on the party ticket. We have sent a team to help get a credible candidate and what we are asking from our colleagues to support us in Mansa. We have done that in the past and it is only fair for the UPND to help us win that seat,” said Chipungu.
Opposition UPND has shown interest in contesting the Mansa seat which fell vacant after the death of Information and Broadcasting minister Kennedy Sakeni.
And MMD information and publicity secretary Alfred Ndhlovu said that the MMD would participate in all by-elections regardless of who was contesting in such a particular poll.
“As MMD we espouse a policy of consistent participation in all by-elections which take place in the country at all levels such as local government, parliamentary and presidential elections. This is in line with our “multiparty democracy” which allows all political parties, including independent candidates, to participate in elections. Politics in Zambia is ordinarily competitive which is why each political party has to work very hard to win any election,” said Ndhlovu.
He said that the MMD will not ask another political party to withdraw from the election in order for it to win.
“Bearing these truths in mind, the MMD has resolved to participate in the Mansa Central Constituency by-elections slated for November 22, 2013. The MMD is ready for the by-elections. The local leadership in the structures of the party has assured us the situation on the ground favours the tested MMD because the ruling party failed to fill all our pockets with more money in 90 days. Additionally, the cost of fuel was increased astronomically beyond expectation. Fuel and maize subsidies were arbitrarily removed which has made the cost of living hardly affordable,” he said.
Mr. Ndhlovu also said that it was wishful thinking to suggest that the MMD was on the path out to oblivion stating that it was sickening to hear such a statement emanating from a fellow opposition political party.
“Suffice to say that the MMD has its own soul to survive. The MMD is the second oldest political party after UNIP. The MMD has been led by four Presidents since 1991. The party is resilient, tested and is the only hope for Zambia. The MMD believes that all registered political parties have equal and fair chances to mobilize support and win elections to govern their country. We neither underrate nor say that our colleagues are on the way out! Even UNIP is still there, alive and kicking,” he said.