Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed a power-sharing agreement with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai Monday, making Tsvangirai prime minister. It is unclear how much power Mugabe will cede, after 28 years of control, or how the two bitter enemies will work together to fix the country’s dire economic problems. (The New York Times)
What the commentators said
The power-sharing pact is hardly perfect, said Britain’s The Independent in an editorial, but it’s “as much as a political realist could have expected.” In fact, Tsvangirai secured a better deal than looked possible a few weeks ago. He will control the police, but his “trump card” is that only he can attract the much-needed foreign aid and investment.
Unfortunately, “the real power, the security forces, favors Mugabe,” said The Christian Science Monitor in an editorial. And leaving “significant power” in Mugabe’s hands “defies the will of the voters” who kicked him out at the ballot box. The best you can say about this “unlikely political marriage” is that it has stopped the political violence.
Sitting across from the very people who “ordered them to be brutalized” will be “hard to swallow” for Tsvangirai’s party, said Britain’s The Guardian in an editorial, but it will probably only be for two years, until the next round of elections. Controlling the police means that Tsvangirai can ensure “free elections,” and no one thinks Mugabe can win a fair fight.