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Zimbabwe’s MDC Says Mutambara to Stay in Government

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- A faction of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change party said its former president Arthur Mutambara will stay on as deputy prime minister in the coalition government after being ousted as party leader.

The party, which split from the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2005, elected Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube as its new president yesterday. Ncube said the party leadership change wouldn’t affect government positions.

“The current deployments in government remain as they are, with him as deputy prime minister,” Ncube told reporters at a news conference today. “We’re happy with his position.”

Ncube said his party was opposed to national elections taking place this year before political and constitutional reforms agreed between President Robert Mugabe and the former opposition under an accord that created the coalition government are implemented.

“In terms of the laws of this country, an election is only due in June 2013,” Ncube said. “We must first implement the political agreement to the fullest extent possible to create conditions for an election whose outcome is uncontestable.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nelson Gore Banya in Johannesburg at ngbanya@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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