SW Radio Africa (London)

18 December 2012

Zimbabwe: No Breakthrough Expected From Copac Talks

The committee negotiating the conclusion of the constitution making process was expected to meet in Harare late Tuesday, in an attempt to rescue talks that have stalled.

A meeting to resolve the outstanding issues was postponed on Monday, after some of the members of the committee failed to pitch up because of ministerial commitments.

Talks between ZANU PF and the MDC formations ended inconclusively last week, amid reports all sides failed to make any headway to bridge the gap on some of the issues contained in the draft.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chair, said despite the deadlock all sides have said they want to seek an amicable solution to the long drawn out process.

The Nyanga North MP did not hold out any hope for a result from Tuesday's talks, as no side was willing to back down on its demands. Analysts told SW Radio Africa a breakthrough was unlikely this year with all parties wary of making concessions that would portray them as weak and giving in.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said despite several 'intense and tough' talks between the parties to the GPA, there was no clear progress towards ending the deadlock and that will mean a delay in holding elections.

'The main stumbling block is that the sides' positions are rather difficult and tough to reconcile. Last week they had an intense and tough exchange of views, but remained worlds apart. So they agreed to reflect on each other's positions but it remains doubtful if each of the parties is ready to concede,' Muchemwa said.

The country's constitution-making process has spanned over three years and the exercise has been a battleground in the endless war between ZANU PF and the MDC formations.

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