The Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) has pulled out of the opposition alliance comprising 10 political parties under the captainship of the UPND.
Addressing the media in Lusaka today, PeP leader Sean Tembo said he had pulled out of the alliance as some partners had made it clear that they could prevail on their own in the 2021 general elections.
Tembo said the belief that a united opposition would stand a better chance to unseat the PF in the 2021 elections had been rubbished by some alliance partners that felt more superior to their counterparts.
“It has also been our belief that other political parties within the Opposition Alliance held a similar assessment and perspective regarding the prospects for 2021,” said Tembo.
“It dawned on us that some of our alliance members held the belief that they were perfectly capable of winning the 2021 general elections without the need for opposition unity. Their belief regarding the irrelevance of opposition unity as a vehicle for a 2021 electoral victory naturally informed their attitudes towards the opposition alliance in general and alliance members in particular, both explicit and implicit.”
Tembo said the relevance of opposition unity ahead of the 2021 elections would be judged by posterity.
“However, the difference in opinion regarding the necessity of opposition unity as a prerequisite for a 2021 opposition electoral victory essentially renders our continued participation in the opposition alliance redundant. We joined and became a part of the opposition alliance with the hope and expectation of assisting each other through the creation of synergy,” he said.
“To the extent that some of the key members of the opposition alliance believe that they do not require any assistance, we cannot force ourselves and our assistance on them. Accordingly, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress have taken the decision to withdraw our membership and our participation from the opposition alliance with immediate effect.”
Tembo pledged to be available for constructive association with some opposition political parties where need arose.
“Therefore, it is our expectation that despite our withdrawal from the alliance, we shall continue to relate well with our brothers and sisters and possibly even collaborate on other issues of common interest. Additionally, if in future the key members of the alliance have a genuine change of perspective and adopt a sincere belief that they need us to complement each other as we walk towards the 2021 general elections, then our doors shall always remain open and we shall be amenable to consider any proposal that shall be put on the table on its merits,” he said.