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Tsvangirai Sees Presidential Vote as Key to End Dispute
Source: SABC
Source Date: Friday, December 17, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 17, 2010

Zimbabwe's next presidential and parliamentary elections would normally be held in 2013, but Tsvangirai said earlier this month that parliamentary elections could not be held until there had been a referendum on a new constitution and an election commission had been set up.

"The next election should be solely for the disputed presidential election of 2008," Tsvangirai told reporters after a meeting of his party's top decision-making national council.

Major vote

"So there is no need to go for harmonised elections when we have not resolved the disputed presidential election first."

Tsvangirai spoke as Zanu-PF prepared for its annual congress in the eastern city of Mutare that will endorse Mugabe, 86, as its candidate in the election he wants to be held by mid-year.

Zanu-PF and MDC legislators are against elections that will cut short their five-year term for a second time. The previous term ended prematurely in 2008 following a 2005 vote.

The next election will be the eighth major vote in Zimbabwe since 2000 and critics say rushed polls without political reforms, including a new constitution guaranteeing basic rights, would favour Mugabe and Zanu-PF, who have held power since independence from Britain in 1980.

Tsvangirai also accused Mugabe of deploying members of the security forces in the countryside before the vote to intimidate villagers. The MDC made major gains in Zanu-PF's traditional rural strongholds
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