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Zimbabwe's Opposition Says Talks Deadlocked, Mediation Needed


Zimbabwe's opposition says talks on forming a Cabinet with President Robert Mugabe's party are deadlocked over the allocation of all key Cabinet posts.

The Movement for Democratic Change is calling for mediation from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union to help resolve the impasse.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported that the ruling ZANU-PF party and MDC would resume power-sharing talks on Monday.

But the MDC says in a statement released Monday there has been no communication between President Mugabe and the leaders of the two MDC factions, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, since their last meeting on Saturday.

The two parties signed a historic power-sharing deal in September aimed at ending Zimbabwe's long-running political and economic turmoil.

That agreement calls for Mr. Mugabe to remain as president and main MDC leader Tsvangirai to become prime minister. ZANU-PF would control 15 Cabinet positions with the two MDC factions getting 16.

Zimbabwe has been without an official government for months following disputed presidential elections. Mr. Tsvangirai won the most votes in the first round in March, but pulled out of the June runoff because of alleged state-sponsored violence against his supporters.

The sides are under international pressure to reach a deal so Zimbabwe can begin to recover from its economic collapse. The country has an inflation rate officially measured at 11 million percent, though economists say the actual figure is significantly higher.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.