Zim opposition in rare show of solidarity

The five main opposition parties called for reforms ahead of elections.

Zimbabwe Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pictured on March 15, 2013 talking to church leaders about upcoming elections. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Zimbabwe's five main opposition parties have come together to call for reforms ahead of elections.

The opposition parties, including both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said it's ironic that the rights of millions of Zimbabweans to a credible poll will be violated by last week's court ruling which was made in a favour of a single applicant.

This is a rare show of solidarity from Zimbabwe's opposition.

The leaders of the five parties have now issued a joint statement calling for reforms after a key meeting on Wednesday.

They want the army to stay out of politics and called on state media to open up to opposition voices.

Following last week's Constitutional Court ruling that said elections must be held by the end of July, the likelihood of these reforms is now slim.

The parties said it is impractical to hold elections so soon and will tell the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) this when the regional body meets to discuss Zimbabwe's elections.

President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF has made it clear that it is ready for elections.

Sadc is expected to fund the elections as Zimbabwe is in a tight financial position.