An offer to make opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai third vice president has been rejected, dimming hopes for a power sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the declared winner of the first voting round.

An offer to make opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai third vice president has been rejected, dimming hopes for a power sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the declared winner of the first voting round.

“They have offered Morgan the post of third vicepresident and nothing else, which is obviously a position totally unacceptable to (Tsvangirai’s party) the MDC,’’ said one source. Mugabe already has two vice presidents who are figureheads.

Although South African President Thabo Mbeki and lead mediator insists that the talks have not broken down, insiders are predicting a protracted and bitter struggle. Negotiators for the two sides have returned home for consultations.

Tsvangirai and the 84-year-old Mugabe have signed an accord to begin talks on sharing power after a months-long election dispute. The meeting was their first since Tsvangirai formed his MDC party at the end of 1999.

“Given the polarization of the parties, nobody expected that this was going to be a walk in the park,” observed Sydney Masamvu of the International Crisis Group.

“Be that as it may, I think it is a setback, which can be resolved if both parties approach these talks with sincerity and recognize the need for an economic and political recovery.”

Special to the NNPA from GIN

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