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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Faces Resistance Within His Party To Sharing Power


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe continued to grapple Wednesday with divisions in his longtime ruling ZANU-PF party over the power-sharing deal he finalized this week with the Movement for Democratic Change, indefinitely postponing talks with MDC leaders over the composition of a new cabinet.

The delay gave rise to misgivings in some quarters about Mr. Mugabe's commitment to the national unity government agreed to as the way out of months of turmoil following March elections which gave the MDC a majority in parliament's lower house.

Having met Tuesday with the ZANU-PF politburo, Mr. Mugabe met Wednesday with the party's central committee. Thursday he meets the consultative assembly.

Party hardliners are said to be bitter about the deal struck by Mr. Mugabe and his team of negotiators, saying they conceded too much power to the MDC.

Tensions were increased by a statement Tuesday by incoming prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai saying Mr. Mugabe would not be prosecuted for alleged human rights abuses but that perpetrators of political violence would be pursued.

Opposition sources said the cabinet discussions must be held before Mr. Mugabe travels to New York to participate in the United Nations General Assembly next week.

Political analyst David Monyae told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that such teething problems are to be expected.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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