December 15, 2007

Mugabe to run again for Zanu-PF / MDC Factions in Fresh Coalition Talks

Zimbabwe's governing party has endorsed Robert Mugabe as its candidate for next year's presidential elections. The vote by delegates at the Zanu-PF conference in the capital, Harare, allows the president to seek a sixth term in office in March. Mr Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980 and has resisted pressure to step down. His selection was by open acclamation and all 10 of Zanu-PF's provincial bodies backed him.
In the meantime, officials from both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have told about renewed discussion about the formation of a coalition of opposition parties to face ZANU PF in elections 2008. Morgan Tsvangirai's faction has raised the possibility of a boycott of elections next year, while the Arthur Mutambara group has nominated all its incumbent Members of Parliament as candidates for the polls.
Diplomats and African officials are also exerting pressure on the two sides to go into the elections as a single party. The latest talk about a pact comes five months after talks between the two factions collapsed, with each side accusing the other of sabotaging the negotiations. (Financial Gazette, Harare)

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