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Zimbabwe Opposition Warns Against Reconvening Parliament

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has warned any move to reconvene the country's parliament could put power-sharing talks in jeopardy.

Zimbabwean parliament clerk Austin Zvoma said Tuesday that lawmakers will be sworn in early next week. But the Movement for Democratic Change said Wednesday it had not consented to such a move.

MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti called any decision to reconvene parliament a "clear repudiation" of efforts to form a national unity government following Zimbabwe's disputed presidential elections.

Talks between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition MDC broke off Sunday without an agreement between President Robert Mugabe, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the head of a smaller opposition faction, Arthur Mutambara.

Parliament has not met since legislative elections were held in March. Those elections would give the two opposition factions control of parliament if they stay united.

The state-run Herald newspaper Tuesday portrayed President Mugabe and Mutambara as both endorsing a power-sharing agreement, with only Tsvangirai refusing to sign.

Tsvangirai is touring southern African countries this week, seeking help in moving the negotiations forward. The sides have said the talks will continue.

Tsvangirai finished ahead of Mr. Mugabe in the initial presidential poll in March, but he dropped out of the June runoff, citing widespread state-sponsored violence against his supporters.

Many countries dismissed the June 29 runoff won by Mr. Mugabe as a sham. Since then, the sides have been under heavy international pressure to strike a power-sharing deal to end Zimbabwe's political and economic crises.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.