A newly formed Zimbabwean opposition party won the bulk of seats in the country’s first vote held since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, signaling it will be a force to be reckoned with in next year’s general elections.
The Citizens Coalition for Change won 19 of 28 parliamentary seats and 75 of the 120 council seats that were contested on March 26. Led by Nelson Chamisa, the party was established two months ago after a split in the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
The MDC, now headed by Douglas Mwonzora who won a court battle against Chamisa to retain the party name, headquarters and state funding, triggered the by-elections by recalling legislators and councilors loyal to Chamisa. It failed to win a single seat.
“We are putting the nation and world on notice that we are the next government in waiting,” Chamisa told reporters in the capital, Harare, on Monday.
Zimbabwe has been ruled by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front since the southern African nation gained independence in 1980. It stayed in power through a series of elections marred by violence and irregularities.
© 2022 Bloomberg