South Africa Offers Zimbabwe Truce Proposal

Opposition welcomes plan ceding real power to Tsvangirai as PM
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2008 10:33 AM CDT
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, and South African President Thabo Mbeki share a light moment before a family photo during a G-8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in Toyako, Japan, Monday.   (AP Photo/Yuriko Nakao)
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(Newser) – South African president Thabo Mbeki has proposed a compromise in Zimbabwe’s political crisis: Let Robert Mugabe remain president in name, but hand power to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as temporary prime minister, the Guardian reports. Members of opposition party Movement for Democratic Change were said to be largely satisfied with the plan, on the condition that the African Union would help enforce it.

“All the basic ideas of the MDC are there” in the proposal, a party source tells the Guardian. The document, whose existence a Mbeki rep neither confirmed nor denied, would make Tsvangirai PM pending a new constitution and elections. The MDC sees it as the South African leader’s acknowledgment that Mugabe is losing his grip on the country; Tsvangirai had accused Mbeki of  "colluding with Mugabe to play down the deepening political crisis."