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Zimbabwe Adversaries Clear Snag, Way Open For Power-Sharing Amendment

Political sources said negotiators for Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic Change meeting in South Africa achieved a breakthrough Thursday in talks on setting up a power-sharing government, and that members of parliament were summoned into session Thursday to examine an enabling amendment to the national constitution.

Both houses had been scheduled to meet on Wednesday but the session was put off as the negotiators for the MDC and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF could not agree on a bill to set up a national security council and on how provincial governorships would be allocated.

ZANU-PF negotiators failed to show up in Pretoria on Tuesday, prompting the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai to accuse them of negotiating in bad faith and threaten to scuttle the amendment bill which creates the post of the prime minister and two deputies.

The MDC claimed a majority in the lower house of parliament in elections last March.

The meeting canceled Tuesday finally took place Thursday and yielded positive results, said political sources from both sides of the aisle.

ZANU-PF Chief Parliamentary Whip Joram Gumbo told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he has summoned all ZANU-PF assembly members and senators and was confident that a significant breakthrough has been achieved.

Tsvangirai MDC Chief Whip Innocent Gonese said the latest development was overdue.

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