Sunday, August 08, 2010
By: Our reporter
Posted: Saturday, August 7, 2010 10:26 pm
SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma has indicated that he will be pushing to secure an agreement in Zimbabwe for fresh elections in 2011 at the summit of regional leaders later this month.
Mr Zuma is the official facilitator in the Zimbabwe inter-party talks appointed by the regional grouping, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc). President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has indicated that there will be general elections next year.
Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC-T party says it will push for a new Constitution before it goes to the elections; otherwise he will not run as president.
Professor Arthur Mutambara -- leader of the smaller MDC faction -- said holding an election before comprehensive reforms will only produce another contested outcome.
"[What is] key is the quality of elections -- not when they're held," said Mutambara, who met members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) last week. "There's no point in rushing into elections that will be challenged."
Mutambara appears to be the only member of the coalition not readying himself for an election.
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This week Mac Maharaj, part of Zuma's task team on Zimbabwe, held meetings in Harare ahead of the summit. He met leaders of the two MDC factions, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, on Tuesday.
Zuma wants to go to the Sadc summit in Windhoek, in just over a week's time, with "at least some kind of timetable" for elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) member Bessie Nhandara says the commission needs at least a year to prepare for elections.