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Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai Calls for One Government After Vote

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean elections, which will probably be held within the next year, must produce a single government rather than a coalition, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said.

“The next election must produce a legitimate government, so that we don’t have the losers trying to negotiate their way back into power through some form of arrangement or through a coalition, like a government of national unity,” Tsvangirai told reporters in Cape Town today, where he is attending the World Economic Forum on Africa.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change and President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front have shared power since February 2009. A year earlier, the MDC won in a parliamentary election, while failing to gain an outright win in a presidential ballot. Tsvangirai pulled out of a runoff vote, citing violence against MDC supporters. The election wasn’t recognized by parliamentarians from the Southern African Development Community and other observers.

“The outcome must be legitimate, credible and must be conducted with the satisfaction of both sides, the African Union, SADC and the international community,” Tsvangirai said.

Mugabe has been pushing to hold elections this year, though SADC has said the two parties must agree on constitutional changes and election rules before it can hold polls.

“We want to thank SADC on insisting on the roadmap,” Tsvangirai said. South African President Jacob Zuma is SADC’s mediator in talks between the two parties in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s economy can probably expand 9 percent this year as it rebounds from years of recession, Tsvangirai said. He called on sanctions imposed by the European Union and U.S. against top Zanu-PF officials to be removed. A plan by the government to force companies to sell stakes to locals doesn’t mean “nationalization and expropriation,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nasreen Seria in Cape Town via at nseria@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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