MDC says fresh polls needed if deadlock in Zim persists

2010-02-13 09:49

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party yesterday

called for fresh elections if the current logjam in talks between rival factions

of the frayed power-sharing government persisted.

“In our view it’s a deadlock. We realise there is disenchantment

among the people. The people would want to see finality to these issues. If the

deadlock persists then our trajectory is to have free and fair elections,”

Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told

journalists in Harare.

“ZANU-PF are trying to employ the tool of delaying so that we

continue to talk about talks until Christmas. We need to put a full-stop to

negotiations,” Chamisa said, referring to veteran President Robert Mugabe’s

party.

Tsvangirai’s MDC and Mugabe’s ZANU-PF are feuding over Mugabe’s

unilateral appointments of the attorney general and central bank governor.

Another contentious issue is Mugabe’s refusal to swear in Roy

Bennett, Tsvangirai’s pick for deputy agriculture minister, who is being

prosecuted for treason.

Since its formation a year ago, Zimbabwe’s unity government has

been bogged down in squabbling over the allocation of key government posts, farm

invasions, political violence and sanctions imposed on Mugabe and members of his

ZANU-PF party elite.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of an MDC splinter

group, formed the power-sharing government last year to try to mend the

country’s inflation-ravaged economy and ease tensions after a bloody

presidential election that saw Tsvangirai withdraw from a run-off against

Mugabe.

Tsvangirai had cited violence against his supporters as a reason

for pulling out.

South African mediators have been holding talks to resolve the

issues hampering the government’s work.

Chamisa said fresh elections should come when the conditions are

made right by a new constitution. He also called for strict media regulations to

be relaxed and for changes to the electoral laws.


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