Zimbabwe’s rival parties reach powersharing deal: Mbeki

September 12th, 2008 - 5:31 am ICT by IANS  

Harare, Sep 11 (Xinhua) Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party led by President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Thursday reached a powersharing agreement, South African President Thabo Mbeki said. The details of the agreement and the forming of a unity government will be disclosed Monday, Mbeki, who mediated the talks, said at a press conference.

This positive development has come after Mugabe issued an ultimatum last week that he would unilaterally pick the cabinet ministers if Morgan Tsvangirai (leader of the MDC) did not sign the powersharing agreement.

On March 29, Zimbabwe held presidential elections in which MDC’s candidate Tsvangirai bagged maximum votes but was not enough to declare him the winner.

The ruling ZANU-PF lost its Lower House majority for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980, but MDC won the majority by only a narrow margin.

Negotiations began in July to resolve the impasse resulting from Mugabe’s unopposed re-election in June.

Tsvangirai did not participate in the re-election, accusing Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party of unleashing violence against MDC supporters.

However, in the subsequent unity government talks, Tsvangirai had demanded for more power, pushing Mugabe in a largely ceremonial position of head of state.

Mugabe refused that offer.

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