Zimbabwean rivals sign power sharing deal

Monday, September 15, 2008

Robert Mugabe
Image: Jeremy Lock.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai today signed a power sharing deal in the county's capital, Harare.

Speaking to crowds of people celebrating the deal, Tsvangirai said that "this unity government will let businesses flourish so our people can work and provide for their families with pride." He also said that "I've signed this agreement because I believe it represents the best opportunity for us to build a peaceful and prosperous democratic Zimbabwe."

Mugabe also spoke after the deal. "Let us be allies," he said. "People will want to see if what we promise is indeed what we strive to do ... We are committed. I am committed. Let us all be committed."

Despite the agreement, there was some tension at the protest, with supporters of the two parties throwing stones at each other.

The deal means that Tsvangirai is now the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, acting as the head of the council of ministers. Mugabe remains the president of Zimbabwe, meaning that he is still the chair of the cabinet.

Will the power sharing deal be a success?

The cabinet contains sixteen seats from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, while Mugabe's Zanu-PF has fifteen seats. The MDC also controls the police while Zanu-PF controls the armed forces.

The agreement also requires press freedom in Zimbabwe.

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