MMD, UPND to field different candidates
Published On January 7, 2014 » 2774 Views» By Administrator Times » Latest News, Stories
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By XAVIER MANCHISHI –

THE Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) will each go it alone in the forthcoming parliamentary by-elections in Katuba, Mkushi South and Solwezi Central.

The announcement effectively confirms the collapse of the loose alliance formed by MMD and their pact partners UPND, with whom they had agreed to be fielding common candidates during elections.

MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the former ruling party had written to UPND informing their pact partners of the intention to contest all the three seats but got no response.

“For now, all we can say is that we are going to contest all the three seats. Mind you, these are our seats and our party members get very upset when we do not contest our own seats,” Mr Nyangu said.

He said the National Executive Committee (NEC) was already in consultations with the lower organs of the party to start the adoption process for the three by-elections set for February 25.

On reports that both MMD and UPND are courting Jonas Shakafuswa to contest the Katuba seat, Mr Nyangu dismissed the claims, saying the former lawmaker was not among the applicants for the vast constituency.

UPND general secretary Winstone Chibwe said in a separate interview that the party will also field candidates in the three constituencies.

Asked whether the decision would not split the opposition vote, Mr Chibwe said both UPND and MMD were individual political parties with different agendas.

“Even you as Times of Zambia do you share your stories with other newspapers?” he asked without elaborating what went wrong with the alliance.

On the adoption process in the three constituencies, Mr Chibwe said the party was still consulting the lower echelons of the party before coming up with the three candidates to contest the by-elections.

The Katuba seat fell vacant following the death of Member of Parliament Patrick Chikusu, while the 2011 election results of the Solwezi and Mkushi South seats were nullified by the Supreme Court.

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