MDC shuns Mugabe 'circus'

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party has lost faith in power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe and will leave him to form a government alone rather than be forced into a deal, a party official said yesterday.

HARARE - Zimbabwe's main opposition party has lost faith in power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe and will leave him to form a government alone rather than be forced into a deal, a party official said yesterday.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the MDC had lost confidence in the mediation of South African President Thabo Mbeki and wanted the UN and African Union to rescue the process.

Talks are deadlocked over how to share executive power between Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, putting off any chance of rescuing Zimbabwe from its economic collapse.

"We have lost confidence in this process. They can go ahead and Mugabe can form his government, we will not be a part of that circus.

"He (Mbeki) is trying to rush us into a deal. The unfortunate thing is that Mbeki is trying to help Mugabe achieve his ends, not to solve the crisis," the official said.

State media said Mugabe, in power since 1980, had given Tsvangirai until yesterday to sign a deal or he would form a government himself.

"Where on earth have you seen dialogue held on the basis of threats and ultimatum?

"They want to bully us into an agreement, but that's completely unacceptable," said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa. - Reuters

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