mdc 'takes control'

Ido lekota

Ido lekota

The two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have come together to form a majority ruling party in Zimbabwe's parliament.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday announced that the coming together of the two factions gave the MDC a 57 percent majority in parliament.

"The two formations have agreed to work together and their combined parliamentary caucuses are now in control.

"Zanu-PF is now the opposition," Tsvangirai told the media at Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg.

"Robert Mugabe must accept that in a parliamentary democracy the majority rules," said Tsvangirai.

Speaking on behalf of his faction, Arthur Mutambara said the move was in the national interest.

The unity move comes in the wake of an announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that Tsvangirai's MDC had won 18 of the 23 constituencies in the vote recount.

Tsvangirai dismissed the recount results, saying they did not show anything new "because we won the election on March 29".

He said as far as the MDC was concerned the recount was illegal.

"Most of the Zimbabwean people have said Mugabe must retire," said Tsvangirai.

He also called on the United Nations to investigate the state violence against civilians.

"We want them to investigate the violence in our country and recommend a way to stop it," he said.

The delay in announcing the presidential results has been accompanied by an upsurge in violence and intimidation of opposition supporters, especially in the rural areas where Zanu-PF previously enjoyed support.