April 17, 2011

Mugabe in U-turn on early election

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has been forced to back down on plans to hold elections before a new charter is adopted. He had been pushing for early elections in August "with or without" a new constitution, raising fears of violence. But negotiators from the president's ZANU-PF party have agreed to abide by the provision of a coalition deal signed after disputed polls in 2008. The deal says a new constitution must be in place before polls are held. The increasingly frail leader appears to have finally bowed to pressure from the regional SADC grouping and South African president Jacob Zuma.

Bekithemba Mpofu, a political analyst said it was clear that Zanu PF was in sixes and sevens, especially after the Sadc troika on peace and security meeting in Zambia in April. "It is evident that the Sadc communiqué was a shock to the Zanu PF system, it was not expected and the fallout from it was not planned," Mpofu said. He added that Zanu PF had survived this long largely because of the solidarity from neighbouring countries. (The Financial Gazette)

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