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Mbeki: Zimbabwean Parliament May Convene While Power-Sharing Talks Continue

  • VOA News

South African President Thabo Mbeki says it may be necessary to convene a new Zimbabwean parliament while power-sharing talks to resolve the country's political crisis continue.

Mr. Mbeki, the chief mediator of talks between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, made the remark Sunday following a regional summit in South Africa on the power-sharing issue.

Leaders from the Southern African Development Community urged the two sides to sign the power-sharing deal and conclude the talks as soon as possible.

But earlier Sunday, a spokesman for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said no deals have been reached.

The talks are believed to be stalled over the distribution of power between Mr. Mugabe and Tsvangirai in a national unity government.

Mr. Mbeki said that some regional leaders will continue talks on Zimbabwe's crisis.

Mr. Mugabe was declared the winner of a June 27th runoff election that many international observers dismissed as a sham.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the election, citing state-sponsored attacks against his supporters.

On Saturday, Tsvangirai told "The New York Times" that he would not agree to any deal that does not give him the authority to rule his homeland. He said in the interview published Sunday, "It is better not to have a deal than to have a bad deal."

Zimbabwe's neighbors fear the consequences if its political stalemate and economic decline lead to total meltdown.

Millions of Zimbabweans have fled across the borders to escape the country's two million percent inflation rate, as well as very high unemployment and shortages of food and fuel.

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