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Zimbabwe Opposition Says Redistricting Should Await Outcome Of Crisis Talks

The faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change headed by Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should wait until South African-mediated crisis talks are concluded before it starts delimiting new constituencies under a recently passed constitutional amendment.

The opposition formation said the questions as to management of the national voters roll and the ZEC's own composition remained to be discussed in the negotiations in Pretoria, so the commission should move ahead on major electoral items.

Local, parliamentary and presidential elections are slated for March 2008.

The commission responded that it is merely preparing for the work of delimiting the 90 new constituencies to be carved out pursuant to the constitutional amendment, and it contended that the amendment mandates it to carry out the delimitation process.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC faction told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the formation is not opposed to the commission, but noted that its board mainly includes ruling party loyalists.

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