- Zimbabwean parliament has approved a constitutional amendment bill to pave way for the formation of unity government between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The amendment number 19 bill creates a prime minister's post in Zimbabwe, which Movement for Democratic Change leader, Mr Tsvangirai, will hold in the proposed coalition government.
Under the unity accord, President Robert Mugabe will remain as head of state, Mr Tsvangirai as a prime minister.
Reports have said the endorsement of the amendments marks a key step towards the formation of the government that was agreed to on 15 September which was never effected due to a row over the allocation on key ministerial positions.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) last week directed Zimbabwe's political parties to urgently form a unity government by 13 February further instructing both parties to iron out outstanding issues before a unity government is put in place.
Mr Tsvangirai and the rest of the unity Cabinet will be sworn in next week, according to the SADC resolution. The government will formed of members of Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF, Mr Tsvangirai's MDC and the MDC faction party led by Authur Mutambara, who is also assured of a deputy prime minister position.
MDC leader won the most votes in a March presidential election, but not with enough majority to avoid the run-off. He then dropped out of a runoff against Mr Mugabe because of attacks on his supporters.
For the first time, the opposition won control of parliament in March, ZANU-PF's first defeat since independence from British in 1980. Mr Tsvangirai's party has 100 seats in parliament, ZANU-PF 99 and the smaller opposition has 10. A former ZANU-PF member who ran as an independent holds one seat.
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