Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai says parliament convening violates deal

Other News Materials 21 August 2008 15:06 (UTC +04:00)

The leader of Zimbabwe's opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, said on Thursday that if parliament was convened next week it would be a violation of the rules governing ongoing power- sharing talks, dpa reported.

"If he (President Robert Mugabe) convenes parliament, it is a violation of the conditions of the talks," Tsvangirai told journalists during a short visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

A July 21 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which set down rules for the tripartite talks, orders parties not to convene parliament or form a new government except by consensus.

"A violation of the MOU would be up to mediators to deal with," he added.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is heading up the mediating team for the talks, which got underway last month.

Parliamentary elections were held on March 29 but the swearing in ceremony could not take place as the presidential election held on the same day did not produce a clear winner.

Mugabe eventually won the run-off on June 27 after Tsvangirai withdrew, citing violence against his supporters. Tsvangirai had won the first round.

However, Zimbabwean state radio on Tuesday quoted parliament clerk Austin Zvoma as saying preparations to convene parliament next Monday or Tuesday were at "an advanced stage."

Mugabe's Zanu PF lost its majority in parliament for the first time since the country's independence from Britain in 1980.