Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Zimbabwe's MDC 'may call fresh elections'

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Zanu-PF wants MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to do more to restore aid

Fresh elections may be needed in Zimbabwe after political leaders failed to end their deadlock, former opposition party the MDC says.

But MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa did not give a timeframe for any new polls.

It says President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF failed to keep promises made when the MDC joined a unity government.

Relations remain fraught between the two long-time rivals who started sharing power a year ago to halt their country's economic collapse.

"In our view it's a deadlock. We realise there is disenchantment among the people. MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) spokesman Nelson Chamisa told journalists in Harare.

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"If the deadlock persists then our trajectory is to have free and fair elections," he said.

A Zanu-PF spokesman however blamed the MDC for the impasse.

The MDC says its activists are still being harassed and wants key officials appointed by Mr Mugabe, such as the attorney general and central bank governor, to be replaced.

It is also angry about the terrorism charges levelled against its treasurer, Roy Bennett, who the party has nominated as deputy agriculture minister.

The party wants regional mediator South Africa to intervene.

Last November, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called off the MDC's boycott of the unity government after regional mediation.

He said he was giving Mr Mugabe 30 days to deal with the issues.

Zanu-PF in return says the MDC has not done enough to attract foreign aid and investment since it joined the government.

The unity government has managed to halt Zimbabwe's economic collapse but donors remain wary of resuming funding.

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