HARARE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Zimbabwe's prime minister Wednesday, observers said, bringing an inconclusive end to 11 months of confrontation.
While Tsvangirai's ascension marked the first time in many years that an opponent of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe had joined the government, he was unsuccessful in his months-long attempt to wrest control of the country's repressive police force and security apparatus from Mugabe, The New York Times reported.
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change won the majority of the vote in a March presidential election over Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, a mandate he believed entitled him to assert control over the government portfolio that controls the country's police force. But Mugabe refused to cede control of what analysts say is the backbone of ZANU-PF's grip on power during the lengthy course of bitter power-sharing negotiations, the newspaper said.
Tsvangirai finally agreed to join the new government late last month at the urging of regional powerhouse South Africa, and has brought senior aides with him, the Times said. On Tuesday, he announced he will name MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti to serve as finance minister.