20 Aug 2008

Zimbabwe parliament to convene next week

3:06 pm on 20 August 2008

Zimbabwe's parliament is to convene next week for the first time since President Robert Mugabe lost his majority in March elections.

Parliamentary clerk Austin Zvoma told state television channel ZBC on Tuesday that the swearing-in would take place on Monday or Tuesday.

The formation of a cabinet is expected to follow in accordance with the country's constitution.

This is despite negotiations on power sharing remaining suspended between the ruling ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF lost its parliamentary majority to the Movement for Democratic Change in March - the first time since independence in 1980. The Movement for Democratic Change won 109 seats, ZANU-PF 97 seats.

In June, Mr Mugabe won a presidential election run-off, in which he was the only candidate.

A summit of the Southern African Development Community in Johannesburg at the weekend failed to achieve a deal between the two parties on the issue of who should hold executive power.