THE MDC Alliance is crafting a new candidate selection template, which will see the opposition party settling for some of its 2023 contenders outside its structures in consultation with community members.

Once adopted, the MDC Alliance will select its council and parliamentary candidates in 2022, a year before the next elections to give the contenders ample campaign time.

The party’s elections directorate led by Ian Makone is drafting the template that is allegedly being frowned upon by mostly sitting legislators, councillors, and other top officials who fear being side-lined once the proposal is adopted.

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba yesterday told The Standard the new template was necessary to ensure the party deployed contenders that were wanted by communities to guarantee election victory.

“Once the elections directorate finishes working on the template, the draft will be taken to the party’s national executive and from there to the national council for adoption so that the party prepares for primary elections,” Siziba said.

“The specific constitutional resolution by congress (in Gweru) was to have candidates selected and elected a year before the annual election unlike the traditional situation.

“The template is still on course, and once adopted will be made public for our members and different sections of our society.

“We are basically strengthening the deployment of candidates because the key objective to be achieved by this template is to make sure that we deploy people that are committed to serve and wanted by the grassroots and community leaders outside our party structures.”

This follows concerns by the electorate that some sitting legislators and councillors have not only been invisible in their constituencies but were a big disappointment.

Analysts said the MDC Alliance risked alienating the party from its grassroots support base if it adopted an “elitist template”.

“It may have the unintended consequences of derailing the party from its goal of securing the seat of government because those you consider to be the least educated and the unemployed for example are the most enthusiastic of the support base of the MDC.

“It creates an elitist approach to politics, something that is completely unwarranted,” analyst Effie Ncube argued. – The Standard