25 August 2008

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Wins Parliamentary Vote

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), winner of the highest number of seats in the March parliamentary elections, has won the race for Speaker of the country's new Parliament.

Lovemore Moyo was elected with 110 of 208 ballots cast after new parliamentarians were sworn in on Monday, the government-controlled ZBCNews agency reported.

Moyo's election is a victory for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. It was widely speculated that Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF would support the candidate of an MDC splinter group led by Arthur Mutambara to deny the post to Tsvangirai's party.

In March the MDC won 100 seats, Zanu-PF 99 and Mutambara's wing of the MDC 10. There is one independent member of parliament.

SW Radio Africa suggested on Monday that the 110 votes which Moyo won included 99 from the MDC, seven from the MDC (Mutambara) and four from Zanu-PF. The BBC reported that Paul Themba Nyathi of the MDC (Mutambara) received 98 votes.

Moyo pledged after his election to handle the position with professionalism for the benefit of ordinary Zimbabweans, ZBCNews added. Another MDC legislator, Nomalanga Khumalo, was elected the deputy speaker.

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