Sunday, October 18, 2009

Opposition boycotts unity government

from the NYTimes

...“It is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner,” Mr. Tsvangirai said at a news conference in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.The catalyst for this step was the jailing Wednesday of Roy Bennett, Mr. Tsvangirai’s deputy agriculture minister-designate ...

Mr. Tsvangirai laid out a broad array of grievances. He accused Mr. Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, of selectively using the law to punish his legislators, putting 16,000 members of its youth militia on the government payroll and remilitarizing the countryside on bases used in last year’s discredited election to organize a campaign of terror against his supporters.

Although he stopped short of quitting the government, Mr. Tsvangirai warned that if the crisis was not resolved and a working relationship restored, he would call for elections supervised by the United Nations.

A former ZANU-PF information minister, Jonathan Moyo, who recently rejoined Mr. Mugabe’s party, said Friday that the M.D.C.’s decision to disengage would reduce the party and the prime minister to political irrelevance. ...

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