Tsvangirai heads to court over poll dates

Morgan Tsvangirai is trying to force Robert Mugabe to consult him before setting a date for elections.

Zimbabwean PM Morgan Tsvangirai has filed a court application to try to force President Robert Mugabe to consult him before setting a date for elections. Picture: AFP/JEKESAI NJIKIZANA

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has filed a court application to try to force President Robert Mugabe to consult him before setting a date for elections.

Mugabe wants to hold the elections before 29 June, but Tsvangirai says that is too early.

The prime minister on Friday said from his understanding, it is unlikely elections can be held by the end of June.

In his application to the Zimbabwean High Court, he said according to the 2008 power-sharing deal between his party and Zanu-PF, Mugabe is supposed to consult him before making any decisions of national importance.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) wants to hold elections by 31 October - it wants reforms to the security sector and media to be implemented first.

Rights lawyers say Tsvangirai filed his application alongside that of three former MPs who want a date set for by-elections.

This case is expected to be heard next week.