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Why MDC unity talks broke down

Talks between the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change broke down after the Morgan Tsvangirai faction insisted that the party should have two vice-presidents instead of one as previously agreed.

Bulawayo legislator David Coltart who represented the Arthur Mutambara faction said negotiations had gone on quite well since November 2006 with agreement in principle being reached on the following:

 Morgan Tsvangirai would be the one candidate for president;

  • if elected, Tsvangirai would select Arthur Mutambara as vice-president;
  • there would be a sharing of portfolios, with the anti-Senate side having a balance of three but with equal distribution of portfolios in key ministries;
  • each side would run unopposed by the other faction in currently-held constituencies;
  • and equity in selecting candidates to run in constituencies now held by ZANU-PF.

 When the two factions met in South Africa in May 2007 the Tsvangirai faction called for two vice-presidents, presumably one from each faction and an electoral college to select candidates.

 It, however, backed down on the issue of two vice-presidents, but insisted on an electoral college which was an absolute non-starter to the other faction.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 07HARARE474, MDC TALKS BREAK DOWN

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE474

2007-05-30 13:35

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000474

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S.HILL

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E.LOKEN

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B.PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2012

TAGS: PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: MDC TALKS BREAK DOWN

 

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

1. (C) MDC Pro-Senate MP David Coltart, who has represented

his faction in unity negotiations with the Anti-Senate

faction since August, told the Ambassador May 24 that

negotiations had ground to a halt. Coltart said that as of

last November he became convinced that unity was impossible

but that there was a good chance of achieving a coalition.

Discussions between the two sides continued fitfully until

Easter when the two sides had a “fantastic” session.

Agreement in principle was reached on the following: 1)

Morgan Tsvangirai would be the one candidate for president;

2) if elected, Tsvangirai would select Arthur Mutambara as

vice-president; and 3) there would be a sharing of

portfolios, with the anti-Senate side having a balance of

three but with equal distribution of portfolios in key

ministries; 4) each side would run unopposed by the other

faction in currently-held constituencies; and 5) equity in

selecting candidates to run in constituencies now held by

ZANU-PF.

 

2. (C) After delays in signing a coalition accord, the

factions met last week in South Africa. According to

Coltart, the anti-Senate faction presented a new agreement

calling for two vice-presidents*presumably one from each

faction*and an electoral college to select candidates. He

said the anti-Senate faction backed down on the issue of two

vice-presidents, but was insisting on an electoral college.

According to Coltart, this was an absolute non-starter. An

electoral college would be unwieldy and subject to CIO

infiltration. While his side was willing to continue

negotiations, Coltart was not optimistic.

DELL

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