Associated Press
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

Leaders Talk About Power Sharing in Zimbabwe

August 11, 2008 05:14 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Hours of talks on Sunday ended inconclusively, but Mugabe and Tsvangirai are reportedly closer to defining their roles in the country’s government.

30-Second Summary

The talks between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, which are being mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, are scheduled to resume, although those involved have not specified when.

The discussion is “aimed at ending Zimbabwe’s bitter election dispute,” according to the BBC. “The key issue is how much power Mr Mugabe will hold in any coalition government, and what role Mr Tsvangirai will take on.”

Reports from the initial talks suggest that Zanu-PF leader Mugabe may become ceremonial president while Tsvangirai, who leads the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), will become executive prime minister.

The two parties agreed hold talks in July after months of political violence that stemmed from the country’s disputed presidential elections in March.

Tsvangirai dropped out of a June 27 presidential run-off due to continuing violence instigated by Mugabe’s government that killed 103 opposition supporters, according to the MDC. Mugabe, unopposed, won the election, which many world leaders called a sham. Following the election, there was international pressure for both sides to enter negotiations and end the violence.

Now that negotiations are under way, however, it is unclear how Mugabe, who has been president for 28 years, will handle potentially sharing power with his opponent.

At a rally Monday morning, Mugabe told supporters that “Zimbabwe is not for sale and Zimbabwe will never be a colony again" and warned they should not “hand over the country to the enemy.” He described Sunday night’s talks as “a long night negotiating on some little hurdles.”

Headline Link: ‘Zimbabwe crisis talks adjourned’

Background: Turmoil following original election; peace talks begin

Opinion & Analysis: A long road ahead


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