Mbeki and Morgan to meet soon

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) president Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to meet President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa soon in the hopes of making progress towards a political settlement between the ruling party and the opposition.
It has been confirmed from

sources in Mbeki’s office that Tsvangirai’s meeting with Mbeki has been scheduled “for the coming weeks” in the wake of immense pressure on the Mugabe regime to commit itself to the dialogue initiative.
Mbeki and Tsvangirai are expected to discuss Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and the way forward towards holding elections under a more democratic electoral framework next year. It has also been confirmed that the Zanu (PF) negotiating team has given in to pressure and agreed to withdraw its unilateral 18th amendment bill, that was due for tabling in parliament soon.
It will be re-drafted with opposition involvement. Informed sources say the MDC’s demands for the repealing of repressive laws-or at least amendment-as well as changing of electoral laws shall be included in the 18th amendment bill.
Sources say Mugabe was pressured by his colleagues at the Sadc summit held recently in Lusaka, who threatened to stop economic assistance and cooperation unless he committed to the dialogue initiative.
Tsvangirai declined to discuss the matter when contacted for comment and insisted that he would abide by Mbeki’s request for confidentiality about the talks.
However, we understand that the re-drafting of the amendment bill by both the ruling party and the opposition has already commenced and expected to finish soon as the parties race against time.
It is reported that the bill will cater for the issues of whether or not to harmonise presidential and parliamentary elections for next year, and have the two houses of parliament determine on that. The MDC is understood to have been convinced to settle for the 18th amendment of the constitution rather than a wholesale changing of the constitution due to time constraints, but in turn bargained for a sincere commitment by the ruling party.

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