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Zimbabwe Opposition Faction Rejects Postponement Of Presidential Vote


Leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai met Friday and resolved to reject a proposal by Zimbabwe's ruling party to put off the next presidential election until 2010, sources in the MDC faction said.

Faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa was tight-lipped about the resolutions passed by the grouping's national executive, saying Tsvangirai would make an announcement in the days to come. But sources within the faction said the MDC leadership resolved that a campaign for the presidential election due in 2008 was thereby launched.

Faction sources said the nonviolent mass resistance that Tsvangirai promised to lead at a March 2006 party congress was handed off to the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a coalition joining civic and religious groups with the political opposition.

Though the MDC's civil society allies have urged reunification of its two factions, party sources said Friday's strategy session did not take up the question, raised a few days earlier by rival faction leader Arthur Mutambara, who extended an olive branch. That overture was immediately dismissed by a spokesman for the Tsvangirai faction.

Faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that supporters should expect more radical action in 2007.

Tsvangirai faction sources said the question of reunification was “sub judice,” as it has been entrusted to a committee led by senior faction member Sipepa Nkomo.

But Mutambara faction spokesman Gabriel Chaibva said there has been no official contact with the Tsvangirai grouping on the subject of mending the split.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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