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Zimbabwean Parliament Delays Vote on Unity Government

Zimbabwe's parliament has postponed debate on a bill to form a unity government, after a new rift developed between the ruling and opposition parties.

The debate was scheduled for Wednesday but was delayed after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused the ruling ZANU-PF of starting to backtrack on a power-sharing deal.

Negotiators for the two parties are meeting in South Africa in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues, which include the distribution of governorships and other government positions.

There are reports parliament may take up the bill Thursday, while others say the debate will not happen until next week.

Last week, under pressure from regional leaders, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe agreed to join a unity government after months of disagreement over cabinet posts.

Zimbabwe's constitution needs to be changed to create the post of prime minister, which Tsvangirai is supposed to hold.

Zimbabweans hope the new power-sharing government can start tackling the country's economic and humanitarian crises, including record inflation, 94 percent unemployment and a deadly cholera epidemic.

The latest figures released by the World Health Organization say more than 65,000 people have been infected with cholera since August, with more than 3,300 deaths.

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