Mbeki plans to delay 2008 vote

President Thabo Mbeki believes the only workable solution for the Zimbabwean crisis is to set up a transitional government of national unity between the ruling party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. This entity would work on constitutional, electoral an

d other reforms before holding elections at a later date.
Highly-placed sources, named but not able to be identified, told The Zimbabwean that Mbeki had already suggested the plan to the ruling party and both factions of the MDC.
“Mbeki hopes to accomplish the very difficult mission of convincing President Robert Mugabe to step down in exchange for a guarantee of indemnity from prosecution for alleged crimes against humanity,” said the source.
“If he manages to get the aged leader out of the way, the next move would be having a reformed Zanu (PF), with former finance minister Simba Makoni touted as the leading candidate, to bring in a government of national unity with the opposition.
However, Mbeki faces a serious stumbling block in Mugabe who not only still wants to cling on, but has been alerted to the plan aimed at getting rid of him and is countering it with a headstrong march towards preparing for next year’s elections.
Political observers say the aged leader can also easily frustrate Mbeki’s efforts by making sure his party plays delaying tactics and refuses to engage the opposition in dialogue on the basis of the usual allegations of it failing to acknowledge his presidency, selling out and so forth.
In addition, both factions of the MDC have vowed to decline going into a government of national unity and have dismissed the idea of a reformed Zanu (PF), saying this will not solve the political logjam.

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