ZIMBABWE DEAL FALTERS

HARARE - The power-sharing deal between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition has stalled just as the man who mediated during months of negotiations, President Thabo Mbeki, has been upended by his own political troubles.

HARARE - The power-sharing deal between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition has stalled just as the man who mediated during months of negotiations, President Thabo Mbeki, has been upended by his own political troubles.

Mbeki's party has forced him to resign the presidency and it is unclear how that will affect the deal even though regional leaders say they expect him to continue as their representative in the crisis.

Some analysts worry that Mbeki's troubles will lead the two [Zimbabwean] sides to harden their positions.

Others say it might boost the opposition, which has viewed Mbeki as Mugabe's ally.

Despite the signing of a deal to form a unity government, Mugabe's party and his rivals have not been able to agree on who will get which cabinet posts, and their negotiators have not met since last week. - Sapa-AP

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