Hope in Zim Election Crisis

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CHRONOLOGY of events since the widely condemned June 27 run-off presidential election, which were boycotted by Tsvangirai and his opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

June 29 – Mugabe is declared winner of the run-off presidential election with 85.51 percent of the vote and sworn in for a new five-year term. Pan-African parliament observers say the vote was so flawed it should be rerun.

July 1 – African Union summit in Egypt calls for a government of national unity in Zimbabwe but a Mugabe spokesman rejects the idea of the Kenya-style power-sharing solution.

July 2 – Tsvangirai rejects talks on a unity government, saying Mugabe must first stop violence and accept him as the rightful election winner.

July 4 – Mugabe, defiant despite condemnation of his re-election, says the opposition must drop its claim to power and accept that he was the rightful head of state.

July 5 – South African President Thabo Mbeki meets Mugabe to try to help end the crisis. MDC says that Tsvangirai has declined to meet Mbeki.

July 8 – The Group of Eight leaders agree at their annual summit, to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe’s leadership because of violence during the widely condemned re-election.

July 11 – Russia and China veto a Western-backed UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. The sanctions would have imposed an arms embargo as well as financial and travel restrictions on Mugabe and 13 other senior Zimbabwean officials.

July 16 – Mugabe accuses Britain of trying to seize control of resources in Zimbabwe, as his government announces inflation had risen to 2.2 million percent.

– US President George W Bush says he wants a peaceful end to political turmoil and is examining more US sanctions.

July 17 – Talks to resolve the election crisis stall after Tsvangirai refuses to sign a framework for negotiations.

July 20 – Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga says the opposition is now preparing to hold talks with Mugabe’s party.

– Zimbabwe says it will transfer ownership of all foreign-owned firms that support Western sanctions against the government to locals and investors from “friendly” countries.

July 21- Mugabe and Tsvangirai sign a deal setting out a framework for formal talks. Mbeki says the deal commits all sides to negotiations as soon as possible. – Nampa-Reuters

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