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Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Opposition wants Mugabe impeached
Tsvangirai at polling station
Tsvangirai (left): Blames Mugabe for violence
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has confirmed that he wants impeachment proceedings launched against President Robert Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai cited pre-election violence as grounds for impeaching the president.



We aim to contain the arrogance of Zanu-PF

Morgan Tsvangirai
Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change gained almost half of the constituency-based parliamentary seats in the recent elections.

Mr Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party nevertheless retains a clear majority in parliament, making it highly unlikely that impeachment moves would be successful.

"The president was responsible for initiating this violence, so there is every reason for impeachment," Mr Tsvangirai told Harare's Daily News newspaper.

"It was unconstitutional and it was a violation of the rule of law," he added.


Robert Mugabe
President Mugabe has enough support to block impeachment
At least 30 people died in violence in the weeks before last month's elections.

European Union observers reported widespread intimidation of voters, saying Zanu-PF supporters were largely responsible.

The ruling party denies responsibility for the violence, and has accused the MDC of provocation.

Mr Tsvangirai told the Daily News that his party would provide a strong parliamentary opposition.

'Beginning of the end'

"I think this is the beginning of the end of both Mugabe and Zanu-PF," the MDC leader said.

"We have an opposition that is strong to provide checks and balances. We aim to contain the arrogance of Zanu-PF."

The MDC - which was formed less than a year before the elections - won 57 constituencies against 62 won by Zanu-PF.

MPs appointed directly by the president further increase the ruling party's majority.

But Zanu-PF - which previously held all but three seats in parliament - now lacks the two-thirds majority necessary to force through constitutional changes.

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See also:

01 Jul 00 | Africa
Farm grabs 'stepped up'
14 Apr 00 | Africa
Profile: Morgan Tsvangirai
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