Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai

Published 6th August, 2013

The Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai or MDC-T is also known as the Movement for Democratic Change – Zimbabwe or MDCZ and was founded as the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999. The party was originally formed from members of the opposition to ZANU-PF, especially members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions who campaigned against the 2000 constitutional referendum; and they were successful.

The party describes itself as Centre-left and believes in Social Democracy and Democratic socialism.

The MDC first fought elections in 2000 and won 57 of the 120 seats in the House of Assembly. In 2005 they won 41 seats in an enlarged 150 seat house. The party split over the reconstituted Senate or upper house in 2005 with two factions being formed, the MDC-T which supported Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-M which supported Arthur Mutambara.

In 2008 the MDC-T achieved a breakthrough when they became the largest party in the House of Assembly although not the Senate. Morgan Tsvangirai won the first round of the presidential election with 47.9% of the vote compared with 43.2% for incumbent president Robert Mugabe. But the violence was so intense with more than 250 MDC-T supporters being killed that Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round leaving the field free for Mugabe to win.

Subsequently the MDC-T was forced into a power sharing arrangement with Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvangirai was made Prime Minister.

The 2013 election saw the MDC-T trounced by ZANU-PF. The MDC-T was reduced to 49 seats in the 210 seat House of Assembly and Morgan Tsvangirai managed just 33.94% of the vote in the presidential election.

The Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai is a member of Socialist International.

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