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Zimbabwe's Opposition Leader Wants New Vote if Talks Deadlocked


Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has called for new elections under international supervision if deadlocked power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe do not reach a breakthrough.

At a rally marking the ninth anniversary of his Movement for Democratic Change Sunday, Tsvangirai said the opposition has time and people on its side. Tsvangirai added he would rather have no deal than a bad deal.

Mr. Mugabe has threatened to form a new government without the opposition unless Tsvangirai agrees to a power-sharing deal.

The proposed deal would make Tsvangirai a prime minister without any real political power, while Mr. Mugabe would remain the president in charge of Zimbabwe's security forces.

Tsvangirai won the first round of presidential voting in March, but failed to gain a majority. Tsvangirai boycotted the June runoff, citing state-sponsored violence against his supporters, handing Mr. Mugabe an easy victory.

President Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980.

He tolerates little dissent, and critics say he has driven the country into economic ruin. Mr. Mugabe blames Zimbabwe's skyrocketing inflation and unemployment rates on Western sanctions on his government.

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