Emmerson Mnangagwa – Zimbabwe’s new president – has told the BBC his party would accept defeat should Zanu-PF lose the election later this year.
Speaking to Mishal Husain, he said: “If we lose elections, that’s it.”
Mr Mnangagwa – who become president last year after Robert Mugabe was ousted – reiterated his pledge for “free, fair and transparent elections”.
He also said he would work with Zimbabwe’s other political leaders to ensure the vote was free of violence.
Mr Mnangagwa, who has been accused of organising the violence which has blighted some of Zimbabwe’s previous election, said the vote will be held sometime before July.
He is hoping to get the support of Zimbabweans at the ballot later this year with his renewed focus on boosting the country’s economy.
However, he said he would accept the will of the people.
“Whichever party wins the election will proceed to take the reins of power,” he said.
Golf diplomacy for Trump
The interview took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where Mr Mnangagwa has travelled to spread the message that “Zimbabwe is open for business”.
The new president – the first Zimbabwean leader to attend the event – said he would be willing to work with US President Donald Trump, who was roundly criticised for labelling African countries “shitholes” earlier this month.
Mr Trump has denied using those words.
“There should not be an enemy I cannot talk to,” he said. “It is a question of international relations. If he came here, I would be able to talk to him.
“I know Americans like to play golf, and I would say come and build golf courses at Victoria Falls.”
Mr Trump is known to be a passionate golfer, who owns a number of course across the world.
Mnangagwa: We would accept election defeat