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Zimbabwe Opposition Demands Registration Follow-Up Before 2008 Ballots

While they negotiate in Pretoria, South Africa, Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition are arguing in Harare over preparations for proposed March 2008 elections.

This week the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change put a question in parliament to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, one of the ruling party negotiators in crisis talks being mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki. It asked whether voter rolls would be established for each ward in all constituencies - including those created under the constitutional amendment passed last month.

Chinamasa said there would be no new voter registration or revision of voter lists.

Chinamasa added that redistricting would be carried out as soon as after President Robert Mugabe signs constitutional amendment legislation, making it law.

But the opposition said there must be a registration exercise between now and March to allow all voters to confirm their registration and re-register if necessary.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC faction told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the refusal to hold such an exercise indicates that ZANU-PF is not negotiating in good faith in the Pretoria talks.

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