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Tonight - Zimbabwe caught in limbo, Mugabe hides his hand and the voting results.

We wait with great anxiety and apprehension, the confirmation of the people's will.

As the State-owned newspaper calls for a second round of voting to establish a clear presidential
winner, the Opposition Leader stays optimistic.

The challenge of giving birth to a new Zimbabwe, founded on the restoration and not on retribution,
on equality and not discrimination, on love not war, on tolerance, not hate.


Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. As the electional farce in Harare continues
Australia's Foreign Minister has been engaged tonight in a round of urgent talks to Zimbabwe's
neighbours. The foreign ministers of South Africa, zansnia and Zambia. Stephen Smith clearly wants
these countries to use influence on President Mugabe to persuade him to quickly release the results
of the election and stand aside peace fully if he has lost. We'll cross to Stephen Smith shortly in
Canberra for his assessment. First, our other headlines. Amnesty International says human rights
abuses in China are increasing in the lead-up to the Olympics. Carry on Kevin - after meeting
another presidential hopeful, the Rudd roadshow heads to Europe.

Zimbabwe's state run newspaper suggests a second round of presidential voting

Zimbabwe's state run newspaper suggests a second round of presidential voting

Broadcast: 02/04/2008

Reporter: Andrew Geoghegan

The counting of votes from Zimbabwe's elections is continuing with the country still waiting for an
official result.


TONY JONES: The Zimbabwean electoral commission has said it should be able to announce final
results for the parliamentary poll by the end of today.

But the results of the all important presidential vote are still expected to take some days, with
the official State run newspaper acknowledging that President Mugabe faces the prospect of a
run-off vote later this month.

Meanwhile South Africa's former archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for an international force of
peacekeepers to be sent to Zimbabwe to prevent any post-election bloodshed.

Africa correspondent Andrew Geoghegan reports.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN, REPORTER: Robert Mugabe's iron grip on Zimbabwe is loosening. In the State run
newspaper, an admission that he has not won the presidential election.

ZIMBABWEAN MAN: The MDC is going to clean some seats and it's going to be a tie. As far as the
constitution of the law if concerned, it seems as if, if it's a tie, it's going to be a re-run. So
everyone is waiting for a re-run of the presidential polls.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, has been rife with speculation that President Mugabe
will avoid a humiliating run-off and will instead step down.

But the Government has denied that it struck a deal with the Opposition.

think the world was joked. CNN, BBC, all over they were making all these wild assumptions, and it
was April Fools day.

Zimbabweans are very calm, they are very calculated, they've come a long way, and they're not in a
hurry to (inaudible).

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: It may be doubt, but the Mugabe regime is not yet out. The tough talk continues.

BRIGHT MATONGA: If Zanu-PF wins, we not going to...we've offered the hand of reconciliation. But
we're not going to change. We will pursue with our policies of empowering our people.

But this is our country and we're not going to allow anyone to dictate terms on us.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Zimbabweans fear there will be bloodshed if Mugabe refuses to go quietly.

ZIMBABWEAN MAN: I'm expecting if he wins that will be the end of Zimbabwe, I think.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Opposition leader, Morgan Changerai, has urged Zimbabweans to show restraint, but
clearly he too is loosing patience.

MORGAN CHANGERAI, ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Our country is on the precipice. Today we face a
new challenge - that of governance, that of rehabilitating our beloved country.

The challenge of giving birth to a new Zimbabwe founded on the restoration and not on retribution,
on equality and not discrimination, on love not war, on tolerance not hate.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Australian's foreign minister was urging caution as events unfolded.

STEPHEN SMITH, FEDERAL FOREIGN MINISTER: We've got to take this one step by step. It is very early

Mr Mugabe is not the sort to indicate he's proposing to voluntarily retire overnight.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: While Stephen Smith expects Robert Mugabe will remain true to type, he may be
surprised by the Zimbabwe regimes new outlook on Australia.

BRIGHT MATONGA: There's been a change (inaudible) from the new Australian Government - they respect
our sovereignty. And I think we can sit down and talk and engage.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: In Harare, riot police patrol the streets, while people continue to queue for
basic items at massively inflated prices.

The cost of a loaf of bread, now close to 10 million Zimbabwe dollars.

With hunger and poverty wide spread, and the economy in ruins, Zimbabwe's dictator has left a
poisoned legacy to whoever eventually succeeds him.

And the Opposition, even if it wins, faces a daunting future.

Andrew Geoghegan, Lateline.

Opposition MP David Coltart says he's more confident of victory

Opposition MP David Coltart says he's more confident of victory

Broadcast: 02/04/2008

Reporter: Tony Jones

Key Zimbabwe opposition figure David Coltart is a member of Zimbabwe's Parliament and and he speaks
about the electoral situation in Zimbabwe.


TONY JONES: We're joined on the phone now by key Opposition figure. David Coltart is a member of
Zimbabwe's Parliament and shadow justice minister for the Movement for Democratic Change.

He's in Bulawayo.

David Coltart, are you starting to feel more of less optimistic that Mugabe's days are numbered?

DAVID COLTART, ZIMBABWE SHADOW JUSTICE MINISTER: Believe me, Tony, I'm feeling more optimistic.
Especially so, given the front page story on the Government controlled Herald newspaper this
morning, which conceded that Robert Mugabe will not win this election, that there'll be a run-off.

And quite frankly it's an academic discussion whether Morgan Changerai gets over the 50 per cent
threshold or just below. Because it's quite clear that if there's a run-off, Morgan Changerai will
win that by a mile.

TONY JONES: It's pretty worrying though, isn't it? The State run Government newspaper claiming to
have the presidential voting figures that no one else has?

DAVID COLTART: Tony, I'm afraid I've got a dreadful line. Please put that again.

TONY JONES: I'm sorry, the State run newspaper is claiming to have the voting figures for the
presidential elections that no one else has.

DAVID COLTART: Yes, well that's not surprising at all. Because there's close cooperation between
the security apparatus in this country, the Zimbabwe electoral commission, which is hardly an
independent organisation, and the Herald.

And it seems that (inaudible) are carefully managing this situation, they've deliberately delayed
announcing these results. Whether it's because Zanu is trying to rig a bit more or whether they're
trying to get their own house in order, we don't know.

But it seems to us now that it is inevitable that by close of business today, we will all know what
the Herald already knows. Namely that Zanu-PF have lost election at the House of Assembly level,
that the Opposition combined, will have a majority there. And it follows that the presidential will
be lost as well, by Zanu-PF.

TONY JONES: Well that assumes, of course that the run-off election in a few weeks time is not
rigged. How can you be confident of that?

DAVID COLTART: Well Robert Mugabe's problem is that, according to the figures we have, Morgan
Changarai has at least 49 per cent of the vote, and Robert Mugabe is hovering around 42 per cent.

But Simba Makoni, the third candidate who is backed by the other faction of the Mutambara formation
of the MDC, has already indicated that he will throw his weight behind Morgan Changarai.

And there's no doubt in my mind that the MDC Mutambara faction will also throw his weight behind
Morgan Changarai, giving him, at the very least, 56 per cent of the votes.

Now bear in mind as well, Tony, that Robert Mugabe has thrown everything into this election. He's
purchased tractors and (inaudible) and feed and fertiliser to persuade the rural electorate to vote
for him. They didn't vote for him. He has nothing left in the larder, it's bare.

So he faces a run-off election against a single Opposition candidate with nothing to offer the
rural electorate. I think he'll be annihilated.

TONY JONES: Finally, David Coltart, would some form of direct intervention from the neighbours of
Zimbabwe, the SADC African countries have any effect at all, do you think?

DAVID COLTART: Well I think that Robert Mugabe survived on the psychological, the propaganda cover
given to him by SADC leaders in the past. If they tell him that they're not prepared to endorse
this election, that they're not prepared to give him cover. I think that that will undermine his
entire internal propaganda strategy and give him serious cause for thought.

And that in itself may get him just to concede.

TONY JONES: David Coltart, we'll have to leave you there. The phone is deteriorating. But we thank
you once again for coming on the line to talk to us tonight.

DAVID COLTART: Thank you. Good night.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith urges Zimbabwe's neighbours to exert pressure

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith urges Zimbabwe's neighbours to exert pressure

Broadcast: 02/04/2008

Reporter: Tony Jones

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith speaks about the situation in Zimbabwe.


TONY JONES: As we said, the Australian foreign minister, Stephen Smith, has tonight been on the
phone to his counterparts in three neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe, as well as the Australian
embassy in Harare.

He joins us now from our Parliament House studio.

Stephen Smith, thanks for being there.

And can you start by giving us the latest you're hearing from Australian diplomats in Harare.

STEPHEN SMITH, FOREIGN MINISTER: Well this evening, or late tonight, in the last hour, I've spoken
to our ambassador in Zimbabwe. I've spoken to our mission in South Africa, and earlier tonight I
spoke to my counterpart, the foreign minister in Tanzania.

And we've got calls out for South Africa and Zambia, but just some logistical arrangements have
made that a bit difficult.

Starting with the information we're getting in terms of what's occurring on the ground, it's mid
morning to late morning in Harare and Zimbabwe as we speak. I'm told that things are calm and
people are going about their usual business.

So it's a bit improved from earlier reports. But when people are asked about the outcome or what
might occur, there is some tension or nervousness.

There's not necessarily a great deal more to report than what I advised the media earlier today.

We're expecting that in the next hour or so, the Opposition party, the MDC will release their own
assessment of the booth by booth, or the polling station by polling station results. This is
obviously geared to put pressure on the Zimbabwe election commission to more quickly release it's
own results.

The most recent results published by the Zimbabwe electoral commission effectively had Mr
Changerai's Opposition party on about 90 seats, Zanu-PF slightly behind, and other parties, a half
a dozen or so.

So if you compare that with the most reliable and authoritative NGO, the Zimbabwe Democracy Now,
they've got in the parliamentary sense, 99 for Mr Changerai, 96 for Zanu-PF, and a dozen for other
parties. So there's a rough equivalence there.

What it does tell us is that Mr Changerai has done very, very well. But we're yet to see any
results so far as the presidential election is concerned. Which is why we continue to seek to put
the pressure that we can, from afar, on the electoral commission to release those results and make
sure that the results are an accurate reflection of the will of the Zimbabwe people.

TONY JONES: Are you disturbed at all to hear that the State run newspaper in Harare, the Herald, is
actually saying that it has the presidential results and that neither of the candidates has got
more than 50 per cent, therefore there will have to be a run-off election in three weeks time.

STEPHEN SMITH: Well I suppose given the history of Zimbabwe under the brutal Mugabe regime, the
State run newspaper having access to that information wouldn't necessarily surprise.

But as I've said, we've got to take this step by step. It's quite clear the Opposition have done

Now whether an accurate reflection of the poll, of the count, is an absolute majority for Mr
Changerai, or a run-off for a second round, and we'll have to leave that judgement for a bit
further down the track. That is a significant dent to Mr Mugabe's authority. There's no doubt about

And David Coltart made that point, and I thought, made it well. That there has been seen now to be
a significant denting of that authority, and we just hope the response to that is a peaceful and
peaceable one. One which accepts the outcome, and where we don't see violence or the use of rigging
or more seriously, military or other force to try and steal the election or thwart the will of the

TONY JONES: Okay. As we said earlier, you're attempting to speak to the three SADC foreign
ministers, you've spoken I think to the foreign minister of Tanzania, I think that's what you


TONY JONES: What are you trying to achieve with those phone calls? Do you want some form of
intervention from those three countries to put pressure on Mugabe?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well what I wanted to do was to firstly, as I did with the United Kingdom foreign
secretary last night, just register Australia's significant interest and concern in Zimbabwe.

We have a long standing interest in Zimbabwe from unilateral declaration of independence, Rhodesia
days and from majority rule, post-Lancaster house. And there is a small but significant Rhodesian
and Zimbabwean expatriate community in Australia.

And it's in the Commonwealth, it's part of our patch. And we should...

TONY JONES: Well it was in the Commonwealth - it's not right now.

STEPHEN SMITH: Well it was in the Commonwealth, with Pakistan it's out. But part of our public
policy aspiration is to get it back in.

Which of course means a full and free election and respecting the result.

But what I wanted to do was to register our interest. But also to get a feel for what the South
African Development Community States and the African Union States were thinking.

Tanzania, who I spoke to, my colleague foreign minister Membe. Tanzania of course chairs the
African Union, but Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, generally regarded as the three significant
Southern African Development Community States, and African Union States, who are best placed to put
pressure on or influence events in Zimbabwe.

And we know that President Mbeki, for example, was very influential in an improved conduct of the

TONY JONES: Alright, what did Mr Membe tell you tonight?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well of course it's for South Africa, and Zambia, and Tanzania to let their own
views be known. But without saying anything inappropriate, I think it's accurate to say that
firstly the concerns that are shared by the international community which we've seen expressed.

We've seen them expressed by Australia, the United Kingdom and others, that we want, that there is
a desire to see an accurate reflection of the will of the Zimbabwe people reflected by the election
results. That it's desirable for those results to be published sooner rather than later.

But most importantly, it's desirable for those results to accurately reflect the actual votes cast.

And I think it's also true to say there is considerable concern and worry that if we're not
careful, that if the outcome isn't effectively, properly counted and respected, that we could very
quickly see Zimbabwe descend into unrest, disorder and violence. Which of course the last thing we
want to see.

TONY JONES: Indeed, and on that score, Desmond Tutu tonight is actually calling for a Southern
African peace keeping force to be sent in to Zimbabwe now. To make sure there isn't any
post-election violence, or electoral violence as a result of the tensions that are developing

Do you think that's a good idea?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well can I make this point. I think in the first instance, there is the immediate
responsibility of the African neighbours to be doing what they can to ensure that there's a quick
outcome and a respecting of the election result.

If, for example, there is on the basis of the objective evidence, a requirement or a need or an
electoral outcome which sees a second round, then that should certainly be the subject of very
intense international scrutiny in terms of election observers.

And yes, I think the African States should contemplate a show of support to ensure that that second
round is fully participated in, is free and is fair.

TONY JONES: Are you talking about peacekeeping? Do you think a peacekeeping force on the ground in
Zimbabwe would be a good idea during this election to make sure things stay under control?

STEPHEN SMITH: I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself, Tony. As I say, firstly we're seeing
at the moment on the basis of the latest reports, yes there is a military or a police presence in,
for example, Harare, but at this stage the disposition seems to be to stand off rather than to be
taking an active or partisan approach or role.

Now that could very quickly change. We certainly don't want it to change. The most desirable
outcome is a respecting of the election result in a peaceful and peaceable way.

And if that takes a second round, if the objective evidence requires a second round in accordance
with the electoral process, that should be full, free and fair participation.

That should certainly require international observers and in the first instance if there is a need
to contemplate, if you like, a greater show of strength, then I think the primary responsibility
for contemplating that rests with the African States. And I think that would be the most
appropriate starting point.

But we're a fair way from that I think Tony.

TONY JONES: Quick final question. You may have heard in the piece earlier Mugabe's deputy minister
for information, Brian Matonga, welcoming what he calls a change in attitude from the new
Australian Government?

Has someone told him there's been a change in the Australian Government's position on Zimbabwe?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, half tongue in cheek, Tony, people obviously haven't been showing him my
transcripts which have been pretty rugged on my view of a brutal regime.

TONY JONES: Does this make you wonder what our diplomats are actually telling him on the ground,
our Ambassador? Are we telling them the concern that there is in Australia and that, in fact, you
are deeply worried about the past rigging of elections?

STEPHEN SMITH: Tony, you can be in absolutely no doubt what our people in Zimbabwe and as well what
our people in South Africa are saying in terms of our attitude and our view.

We're dealing here with a brutal regime of long standing which hasn't respected democracy, which
hasn't respected human rights, which has essentially presided over a massive falling away of the
economy and living standards of the Zimbabwean people.

We stand ready, willing and able to work with any government which will reflect the will of the
people. But most importantly, work towards improving the livelihood of the Zimbabwean people. And I
regret to advise the information minister Tony, that is not the Mugabe regime.

TONY JONES: We'll see if he reports that tomorrow. Stephen Smith, we thank you very much for taking
the time to talk to us tonight.

STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks very much Tony, thank you.

The Rudd roadshow rolls on to Europe after more US meetings

The Rudd roadshow rolls on to Europe after more US meetings

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Chris Uhlmann

Kevin Rudd's world tour has moved from the United States to Europe.


TONY JONES: Washington, New York, back to Washington and now onto Brussels. Kevin Rudd's world tour
has moved from the United States to Europe.

The Prime Minister's last day in the US was spent meeting numerous political heavyweights,
including the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain.

Before he left, Mr Rudd cleared up the one thing that's dogged his trip so far - the absence of
Japan on his list of destinations.

After weeks of criticism, he's announced two trips to Tokyo in the middle of the year.

The ABC's chief political correspondent Chris Uhlmann filed this report from Brussels.

CHRIS UHLMANN, REPORTER: Three generations of McCains have served in the United States' Navy.

JOHN MCCAIN, US REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My father was (inaudible) commander in World War
II and based in Perth for a period of time and had the fondest memories of his time there.

CHRIS UHLMANN: The old war horse spent 45 minutes with the youngish Prime Minister, keen to show
his commitment to the US alliance transcended politics.

The two discussed China, climate change, emissions trading systems, the mission in Afghanistan and
the relative merits of parliamentary coffee shops.

KEVIN RUDD, FEDERAL PRIME MINISTER: Aussies, we call it, Aussies. And it's the only place you get
decent coffee anywhere in the whole building.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Kevin Rudd has now spoken with all of the presidential hopefuls and in case you
missed it, part of the narrative of this world tour is to contrast his world view with his
predecessors. Today he couldn't resist having a dig at John Howard.

KEVIN RUDD: It's very important we don't get in the business of picking one political party over
another, as it seemed to be that my predecessor may have done at a certain time.

JOHN HOWARD, FORMER FEDERAL PRIME MINISTER: If I was running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle
around March 2008 and pray as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama, but also for
the Democrats.

CHRIS UHLMANN: The Prime Minister will be praying claims he's snubbed Japan will quieten now that
he's announced a visit.

KEVIN RUDD: As I understand it, we've confirmed dates in June.

CHRIS UHLMANN: He said he didn't bow to public pressure.

KEVIN RUDD: We've been talking to friends in Tokyo about visits there since January of this year.

CHRIS UHLMANN: But he still hasn't spoken to his counterpart in Tokyo.

KEVIN RUDD: No. These things are always normally transacted, can I say, in multiple iterations with
multiple officials as everyone gets basically the Rubik's cube together to work out who's where,

BRENDAN NELSON, FEDERAL OPPOSITION LEADER: He didn't put Japan into the itinerary. And if you made
a list of the countries that are most important for Australia, I think Japan would slip in to the
top five. You don't need to spend four days in China. You don't need to meet all of the celebrities
and all of the other people in New York.

CHRIS UHLMANN: The last day of the US was the now routine frenzy of meetings.

But clearly, one outcome of the five day blitz is that Kevin Rudd has laid to rest the claim he
would threaten the alliance.

KEVIN RUDD: The key thrust of my engagements with the representatives of the Administration and
others today, again goes back to the economy.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Kevin Rudd might stay out of US presidential races but part of this trip is deeply
political, aimed at reducing foreign policy in the Howard years to a relationship with a single
party in a single country.

Chris Uhlmann, Lateline.

Amnesty International says human rights abuses in China increasing ahead of Olympics

Amnesty International says human rights abuses in China increasing ahead of Olympics

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Michael Troy

Amnesty International today called on government heads, corporates and athletes to put pressure on
China to improve its human rights.


TONY JONES: Human rights not human achievements, are continuing to grab the spotlight in the lead
up to the Beijing Olympics.

Amnesty International today released its latest report ,declaring any hopes China might improve its
human rights records as the Games approached have been misplaced.

Michael Troy reports.

MICHAEL TROY, REPORTER: There's 129 days to go before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, and
while IOC officials are doing their final review of the host city's facilities, Amnesty
International is concerned about human rights abuses going on behind the scenes.

SOPHIE PEER, CAMPAIGN CO-ORDINATOR, AMNESTY AUSTRALIA: There's been an increased crackdown on
repression of activists in China in direct relation to the Olympics rather than the improvement of
human rights that we all expected and wanted to see by this stage.

MICHAEL TROY: Amnesty International released a report today detailing some of the cases occurring
in the lead up to the Games. It suggests that as China's sensitivity grows under the Olympic
spotlight, more outspoken individuals are being silenced.

SOPHIE PEER: Yang Chunlin created a petition called, "We want human rights, not the Olympics". For
creating that petition and getting thousands and thousands of supporters on board, he is now facing
five years in prison.

He was sentenced last week, and his crime is inciting subversion.

MICHAEL TROY: Amnesty International is calling on world leaders, corporate sponsors, the media and
individuals involved in the Olympics to put pressure on China for change.

SOPHIE PEER: To remain silent is a tacit endorsement of human rights violations in China.

MICHAEL TROY: The report singled out Tibet.

SOPHIE PEER: Obviously there's a lot of questions that need answering. That's why we're calling for
UN monitors to go in and for China to allow foreign journalists and independent investigators into

MICHAEL TROY: The IOC today, though, refused to speak out, maintaining the Olympics are a force for

China's communist regime was firing its own salvo in the media war over what's happening in Tibet.

Today it stepped up its attack on Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama who it blames for the
violence there.

Officials today accused him of causing disturbances against social stability and the Beijing Games.

One senior official today accused Tibetan independence forces of planning to use suicide squads to
carry out attacks. At a rare news conference, public security spokesman Wu Heping said the
attackers fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice.

Tibet's government in exile denied any Tibetans were involved and said China was trying to mislead
the world.

much committed to non violence, in spite of how much provocation might be, they are not involving
in to violence.

MICHAEL TROY: Violent protests, though, continued in Nepal, where Tibetan exiles and monks were
arrested outside the Chinese embassy.

Michael Troy, Lateline.

Musharraf urged to step down as power shift in Pakistan continues

Musharraf urged to step down as power shift in Pakistan continues

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Peter Lloyd

Pressure is building on Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to quit after more than eight years
in power.


TONY JONES: Pressure is building on Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf to quit after more than
eight years in power.

The sacked Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhry has stepped up his campaign to win back his job,
following a pledge from the new Government to restore more than 60 judges fired by Musharraf during
last November's emergency rule.

South Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd filed this report.

PETER LLOYD, REPORTER: It was a rousing hometown welcome for Pakistan's former chief justice. In
his native city, Iftikhar Choudhry, was mobbed by jubilant supporters.

This, his first trip outside the capital Islamabad, since being released from house arrest last
week. For months, Iftikhar Choudhry has been the symbol of resistance to the President's strong
armed rule.

PAKISTANI MAN: We don't think that he has been suspended, because the suspension is that one has to
pass through supreme judicial council et cetera and this is not a suspension. We don't consider
this a suspension.

PETER LLOYD: For Mr Chaudhry, this was the first of a series of planned trips across Pakistan to
build support for the reinstatement of all those judges sacked in November by Pervez Musharraf.

IFTIKHAR CHOUDRY, FORMER PAKISTAN CHIEF JUSTICE (Translated): You people can see how the results
from the 18th of February election changed the country's culture.

Who did this? This is done by you people and the people of the country.

The message is clear, that in the future everything will be constitutional and there'll be no more
one man rule. Everything will be under the law and constitution and in the end, everybody will be
safe in this country.

PETER LLOYD: The new Prime Minister, Yousuf Gilani, has pledged to reverse the judicial sackings in
a direct challenge to the authority of Pervez Musharraf.

The two were together again for the swearing in of the new cabinet.

Some ministers wearing black armbands to show their defiance of Musharraf.

This new government is determined to put Pervez Musharraf in his place, as a constitutional
figurehead and no more.

Prime Minister Gilani has already been setting out his priorities. Number one, a new approach to
the fight against militancy, an olive branch for those willing to lay down their arms.

Overall more talk, less confrontation.

YOUSUF GILANI, PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTER (Translation): Now the democratic journey has started in the
country, I request all those people that they should quit the way of violence and join us in this
journey of democracy. We're ready for negotiations with all those people who'll throw away their
weapons and join the track of peace.

PETER LLOYD: The venue was more than symbolic, Parliament not the President is running the show

Within 24 hours, some militants with alleged ties to al Qaeda were reacting.

MAULVI UMAR, TEHRIK-E-TALIBAN PAKISTAN SPOKESMAN (Translation): The new Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza
Gilani, has made a proposal of talks, we welcome that announcement. The Taliban are ready for talks
and for extending all kinds of cooperation to the Government in order to bring peace in tribal
areas. God willing, we will cooperate with this Government.

PETER LLOYD: This group says its fight is not with Pakistan. They say their war is with America.

They accused Pervez Musharraf of being Washington's poodle. It's not clear yet whether the new
Government will get different treatment.

More Iraq violence prompts Britain to delay troop withdrawal

More Iraq violence prompts Britain to delay troop withdrawal

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Tony Jones

The surge in violence in Iraq has forced Britain to delay plans to reduce troop numbers in the


TONY JONES: Well, the surge in violence in Iraq has forced Britain to delay plans to reduce troop
numbers in the country.

2,500 personnel were due to leave Iraq soon, but after the violence in Basra in the past days and
weeks, that decision has been reversed.

British soldiers became directly involved in clashes between Shiite militias and the Iraqi army,
raising concerns that the home grown forces may not be ready to assume full control of the region.

Since October last year, Britain has cut its troop numbers from 5,000 to 4,000.

Coroner's jury finds Kovco unintentionally killed himself

Coroner's jury finds Kovco unintentionally killed himself

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Leigh Sales

A coroner's court jury has found that Private Jake Kovco irresponsibly shot himself in the head
with his own gun, killing himself unintentionally.


TONY JONES: The family of Private Jake Kovco has endured a lot in the past two years - the pain of
his death, the botched repatriation of his body, and two full inquiries into how he died.

There's still no peace of mind for his widow and his mother. A Coroner's Court jury today found
that Private Kovco irresponsibly shot himself in the head with his own gun killing himself

That's very similar to an earlier finding by a military tribunal, as our national security
correspondent Leigh Sales reports.

LEIGH SALES, REPORTER: For the Kovco family, there's little joy at today's verdict.

SHELLEY KOVCO, WIDOW: At the end of the day, it doesn't bring Jake home. He's still gone.

LEIGH SALES: The soldier's mother Judy Kovco is the one who insisted on this second inquiry,
unhappy with the military ruling that her son had accidentally killed himself while skylarking. She
was asked if the jury got it wrong.

JUDY KOVCO: Most definitely.

LEIGH SALES: During evidence, Judy Kovco's lawyer repeatedly implied that another soldier may have
shot Jake Kovco and that there'd been a cover up.

The jury appears to agree that those theories are fanciful nonsense, as senior counsel assisting
the enquiry, John Agius, put it.

The jury found the fatal gun shot wound was irresponsibly self-inflicted by Private Kovco. And that
on the balance of probabilities, he unintentionally took his own life.

This inquest revealed details that were kept quiet during the military hearings that Private Kovko
had an affair in the months before his death and was sexually abused as a child.

This second inquiry has come at a significant cost, both to the taxpayer and the Kovco family,
whose deepest secrets have been revealed. The question is whether it was all worth it, given the
result is virtually identical to the earlier military inquiry.

REPORTER: Mrs Kovco, has it been worth it?

LEIGH SALES: The coroner Mary Jerram told the Kovco women she hoped they would be able to close the
page on this sad part of their lives.

Leigh Sales, Lateline.

Coltart on latest Zimbabwe developments

Coltart on latest Zimbabwe developments

Broadcast: 03/04/2008

Reporter: Tony Jones

As it had threatened to do earlier, the opposition MDC Party has given up waiting for the electoral
commission to announce the results of the presidential poll, and declared that from the party's own
count MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has defeated Robert Mugabe.


TONY JONES: In the past few minutes there have been a series of dramatic developments in the
Zimbabwean capital Harare.

As it had threatened to do earlier today the Opposition MDC party has given up waiting for the
electoral commission to announce the results of the presidential poll and they've declared from the
party's own count the MDC leader Morgan Changerai has defeated Robert Mugabe.

We're joined on the phone again by the Opposition shadow justice minister, David Coltart.

David Coltart, can you tell me what figures the MDC are relying on here?

DAVID COLTART, ZIMBABWE SHADOW JUSTICE MINISTER: The MDC Changerai faction, which is the main
Opposition party is relying on the information that they've got off the outside of the polling

In terms of our law, the electoral authority is obliged to post outside the polling stations the
results of the elections which took place at that particular polling station.

They've collated these countrywide, and they put them into computers and they've now come up with
this figure in the presidential election stating that Morgan Changerai obtained 50.3 per cent,
which is just sufficient in terms of the electoral law to have him declared President of Zimbabwe.

TONY JONES: I've got to ask you, how dangerous is this tactic? Because clearly Mugabe has been
delaying and in a way, I imagine wanting to draw the Opposition into a kind of declaration like
this without the official figures being released?

DAVID COLTART: Well, of course any declaration like this in a dictatorship like Zimbabwe is
dangerous. There's no doubt that they are perfectly within their rights to declare this result.

The technical danger is that, of course, occasionally the wrong result is posted in a polling
station and legitimately, it may reduce the figures. And given how tight the result is, 50.3 per
cent, there's a very narrow margin of error, which could legitimately pull Morgan Changerai beneath
the 50 per cent threshold he needs.

The point I made earlier when we discussed, is that this is academic. In some respects it's
irrelevant because the only thing that this announcement now does is, if it's true, it entitles
Morgan Changerai to be inducted as President immediately.

If he goes into the run off he's going to win the run off. There's no doubt in my mind. So to that
extent this is an academic announcement today.

TONY JONES: Unless he refuses to go into the run off because he believes and claims that he's
already won the election?

DAVID COLTART: Well, yes. But I think it's highly unlikely that Morgan Changerai would refuse to go
into a run off. He knows he can win. It's just delays the process by three weeks.

TONY JONES: Alright, David Coltart we thank you very much for joining us again to talk about those
latest developments.

We'll have to leave you now.

that's all from us. 'Lateline Business' coming up in just a moment. If you'd like to look back at
tonight's interviews with Stephen Smith or David Coltart or review Lateline's stories or
transcripts you can visit our website. Now, here's 'Lateline Business' with Ali Moore.