HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Zimbabwe’s main opposition party has ruled out boycotting next week’s general election, but still believes the electoral commission is planning to rig the vote to favor the ruling party.
Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, told a news conference Wednesday that he is confident of victory in Zimbabwe’s presidential election next Monday.
“It’s not possible to boycott our victory, that is what losers would want us to do,” Chamisa said. “The people want us to defeat dictatorship, defeat poverty, to defeat tyranny, to defeat their hopelessness. Our victory is certain — that you should know.”
Speculation was rife ahead of the briefing Wednesday that the MDC Alliance would pull out of the polls, citing frustration with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The commission has turned down opposition demands to see the voter roll being used in the elections, and the opposition says the presidential election ballot favors President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling ZANU-PF party by placing him in a prominent position, at the top of the right column.
Of the elections commission Chamisa said:
“ZEC has shown that they are not willing and open to dialogue. They are stubborn, arrogant and non-transparent. The environment is not conducive. The process is contested.”
Human rights groups repeatedly accused the commission of election rigging during the long rule of former president Robert Mugabe.