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Zimbabwe Opposition Leader 'Committed' to Power-Sharing Talks


Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he is still committed to power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe.

In a statement Wednesday, Tsvangirai said he is committed to a solution that recognizes the will of the people. He said anything less would be a disaster for the country.

Tsvangirai won a first round presidential election in March, but Mr. Mugabe claimed victory in an uncontested run-off in June.

Tsvangirai has spent the past three days discussing a possible inclusive government with President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara, the leader of a breakaway opposition faction.

Earlier, officials from Mr. Mugabe's party said the president and Mutambara had signed a political deal

But Mutambara denied the reports Wednesday. He said a deal is only possible if it is signed by everyone involved in the talks.

It is not clear when the negotiations might resume. Among the most contentious issues being debated is how much power President Mugabe will relinquish.

Sources close to the negotiations tell VOA that Tsvangirai is consulting with party members on a document outlining his role as prime minister in a future government.

The sources say the document proposes that Mr. Mugabe remain president. He has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980.

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been mediating the power-sharing talks.

He said in Angola Wednesday he is convinced the parties will reach a deal soon. He said they are working on a truly inclusive government.

Tsvangirai boycotted June's uncontested run-off election to protest attacks on his supporters. The election was condemned around the world.


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