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Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai says he agreed to join government

By on January 28, 2009

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean MDC opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said he agreed to form a unity government with President Robert Mugabe, even though his party voiced disappointment with a deal reached at a regional summit, a South African newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The contradiction suggested differences had emerged within his party over implementation of a September power-sharing pact that could add to uncertainty over whether a new Zimbabwean leadership would be united enough to tackle an economic crisis.

Regional leaders decided at the meeting on Tuesday that Zimbabwe should form a unity government next month. But the MDC issued a statement saying the outcome fell “far short of our expectations”, raising doubts over chances of ending the political deadlock.
Mugabe, who has made it clear he would set up a government without the opposition if need be, said talks were concluded and a new cabinet could now be formed.

South Africa’s Star newspaper quoted Tsvangirai as saying that resolving outstanding issues over a government was a “work in progress”.

“Everyone agrees that — subject to the clearing of all the issues that are outstanding — a coalition government can be formed,” he said.

“After all, the whole idea of these negotiations is to form a coalition government, and I therefore agreed to that principle.”

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