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Cautious welcome of Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

12 September 2008 Media Statement

Cautious welcome of Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

News of a power sharing agreement in Zimbabwe between the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and ZANU-PF, is a welcome development, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today. She cautioned, however, that details of the arrangement had yet to be revealed, making it difficult to assess.

“Following the long process of mediation talks led by President Mbeki of South Africa, it was announced this morning that Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Mugabe have reached agreement to share power in a unity government.

“Although this is a positive development, as yet little is known about what the agreement will entail or what the make up of the unity government will be.

“New Zealand and many other countries have said that for a unity government to be representative of the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe, it should reflect the results from the March presidential and parliamentary elections in which opponents of Mr Mugabe and ZANU-PF won the most votes.

“The international community awaits news about who will hold executive power, how Cabinet posts are distributed, who will control the security forces, and whether this will be a transitional arrangement leading to fresh elections at a defined point in the future.

“Many issues need to be addressed before the much needed financial assistance from the international community for Zimbabwe to help rebuild its economy can begin.

“As more details are released in coming days, New Zealand and other nations will be in a better position to assess the agreement reached,” Helen Clark said.


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