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Movement for Democratic Change

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was founded in 1999 as the official opposition party to the Zanu-PF party led by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. It was formed from many members of the broad coaltion of civic society groups and individuals that campaigned for a No vote int the 1999 Constitutional referendum, in particular the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

In the 2000 parliamentary elections, the MDC won 57 of the 120 seats up for election. This marked the first time that an opposition party has achieved more than a handful of seats since the merger of Zanu-Pf and PF-Zapu 1988.

In 2002, the MDC's presidential candidate and leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was defeated by Mugabe in the 2002 race after being charged with treason for allegedly plotting to assassinate Mugabe.

This election was viewed by international observers from the Commomwealth, Norwegian, and the South African Parliamentary Delegation as not being free and fair. Some missions such as the SADC observers and the South African Ministerial Observer team held that the election was substantially free and fair. The election is currently being challenged in the Zimbabwean Supreme court, 18 months after the election.

The MDC is a social democratic party that supports recognition of and protection from Zimbabwe's AIDS epidemic, economic liberalization through investment in rural infrastructure and privatization of selected government parastatals, a land-redistribution policy based upon the rule of law and a willing buyer/willing seller basis, and constitutional amendments limiting further the power of the executive branch of government.

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