Tsvangirai: Africa, UN Must Broker Deal

Seeks 'transitional period;' willing to negotiate before vote
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 9:02 AM CDT
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition party in Zimbabwe gestures at a press conference in Harare, Sunday, June, 22, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – Morgan Tsvangirai is calling for a “negotiated political settlement” to begin a period of “healing” for Zimbabwe, the BBC reports. Speaking at his home after leaving the Dutch embassy, the opposition leader called Friday’s election a sham, and asked the African Union and Southern African Development Community to lead a UN-backed “transitional period.”

While Tsvangirai said he would be willing to negotiate with Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF, he said the MDC would “not have anything to do” with the government emerging from Friday’s vote. He also demanded the release of MDC deputy Tendai Biti, who is charged with treason.