Mugabe negotiations 'frustrating' but key: Tsvangirai

5th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday that negotiating his shaky unity pact with veteran President Robert Mugabe was "the most frustrating experience" of his life but was key to halting the country's collapse.

"It is the most frustrating experience of my life to have to negotiate with somebody who lost an election, and then forced to negotiate an arrangement where the loser comes through the window in order to claim the same rights like somebody who has won," Tsvangirai said.

"But I think that you reach a stage where, given the level of collapse, you may have to forego whether you have won or not and say what is the best solution for the people," he told a session of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai's power-sharing government -- formed in February 2009 after a violent and disputed election -- has succeeded in halting Zimbabwe's economic tailspin, mainly by ditching the local currency after record hyperinflation.

But the ruling pair have repeatedly locked horns over implementing the deal.

In March, regional leaders insisted that Zimbabwe draft a new constitution before holding new elections that will end the fragile coalition.

Tsvangirai earlier told a media briefing that there would be no polls this year but predicted they would probably be held in the next 12 months, saying the outcome must be credible.

"The next election must produce a legitimate government so that we don't have the losers trying to negotiate their way back into power through some form of an arrangement or some form of a coalition like the government of national unity," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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