Tsvangirai demands power as Zimbabwe talks with Mugabe stall

August 14th, 2008 - 2:51 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug.14 (ANI): Zimbabwe’’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has insisted that any political settlement in the country has to reflect “the will of the people”. The warning came as talks with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe were put on hold and South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating the process, left the country.
According to The Telegraph, Tsvangirai is unhappy with the proposed division of power in a government of national unity.
In a message to Zimbabweans he said: “On March 29 [the first round of the presidential election, which he won] you voted for change. You have been clear. We will not betray you. A solution must thus put the people first, not leadership positions and titles. We need a government that transfers power to the elected representatives of the people to carry out the people’’s mandate for change.”
Mugabe wants to retain as much authority for himself as he can, and sources said the negotiations have been stalled over a document entitled “the powers of the prime minister” - the post Tsvangirai is expected to take if a deal can be reached.
It is understood that the key phrase in the paper is a reference to the president being the “head of government”, rather than the prime minister.
Sources said the meeting became bad-tempered as the talks foundered.
On Tuesday night, Mugabe’’s Zanu-PF party claimed to have signed an agreement with a smaller faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, but its leader Arthur Mutambara yesterday denounced the claim as “totally false and baseless”.
Meanwhile, the official Herald newspaper said that Mugabe would call parliament next week and form a government, whatever happened. (ANI)

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