Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai should head any transitional government, European Union officials said in Brussels, without clarifying what the bloc would do if this were not the case.
The EU wants Tsvangirai to be in charge
Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai should be appointed to prime minister or president where he has the power to ensure that reforms take place, a European Commission spokesman said on Wednesday, July 2.
"It is essential that the will of the Zimbabwean people be reflected. In the first round of the presidential election (on March 29), Morgan Tsvangirai won a majority of votes with 47 per cent," spokesman John Clancy said.
The comment reinforces the EU's line that Friday's presidential election run-off in Zimbabwe was not valid. Incumbent President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate after violence forced Tsvangirai to withdraw.
Tsvangirai said violence must stop first
Mugabe said to be ready to negotiate
Tsvangirai said he is not ready to enter into negotiations with Mugabe's government that could lead to a power-sharing arrangement. Both the EU and African Union have called for an interim government that would include members of the opposition party.
Before starting negotiations, Mugabe must stop attacks on opposition supporters and must recognize the results of the June 27 elections, Tsvangirai said Wednesday.
"We are committed to talk, not just with Tsvangirai but to other parties as well," Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told Reuters.
Mugabe blamed for crisis
After Tsvangirai pulled out of the race, many European leaders increased their criticism of Mugabe. They place the blame for Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation, food and fuel shortages on Mugabe's regime.
The EU has already imposed an arms embargo, travel bans and asset freezes on Mugabe's regime. Any further sanctions still need to be decided, Clancy said.
"All options are on the table," he said.