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Coalition likely in Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Zimbabwe’s beaten down opposition may end up being forced to accept what it swears is unacceptable – a power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe.

Some say it would only prolong Zimbabwe’s agony, while others see a coalition – perhaps with Mugabe as president and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister or vice president – as the only way to lead the nation out of the impasse and begin reversing its economic collapse.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, appointed by the main regional bloc to mediate between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, has said some form of coalition is the goal of talks that got off to a tentative start in South Africa on July 10.

On Friday, the opposition applauded plans announced for Mbeki to work closely with the U.N. and the African Union as he attempts to mediate, saying that this satisfies its demand that Mbeki be joined by another mediator.