Movement For Democratic Change – Tsvangirai - Political Performance

Political Performance

Tsvangirai and Mutambara failed to unite on a single MDC candidate for the March 2008 presidential election. Tsvangirai ran for President while Mutambara backed the independent candidacy of Simba Makoni. In the election, Tsvangirai won 47.9% of the vote according to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results, ahead of Mugabe's 43.2%, necessitating a run-off because neither candidate won a majority. However, Tsvangirai claimed to have won a narrow first-round majority on 50.3% based on the mandatory posting of votes counted at polling booths.

In the simultaneous parliamentary election, both factions contested most seats, with the Tsvangirai faction winning 99 and the Mutambara faction 10, compared with 97 for Zanu PF, 1 independent, leaving 3 vacancies caused by deaths of candidates.

On 28 April 2008, the two factions of the MDC announced that they were reuniting, thus enabling them to have a clear parliamentary majority. As of June 2008, the factions have not formally merged.

International media reported that MDC members and supporters, including prominent activist Tonderai Ndira who was murdered in May, were subjected to arrests, beatings and killings during the campaign period for the second round of the election.

On 22 June 2008, Tsvangirai announced at a press conference that he was withdrawing from the run-off against Mugabe, due to be held on 27 June, describing it as a "violent sham" and saying that his supporters risked being killed if they voted for him. He vowed that the MDC would ultimately prevail and that its victory could "only be delayed".

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