Ian Smith's clean sweep of the 20 white seats in the first Parliament of Zimbabwe will give the country's 230,000 whites an important bargaining position in coalition discussions if no black party wins a majority, Monitor contributor Tony Hawkins reports.
Fourteen seats held by Mr. Smith's Rhodesian Front, which governed the country from 1962 until last year, were unopposed, and the party picked up the six contested seats very comfortably last week. After elections for the 80 black seats Feb. 27-29, the whites will be strongly placed to influence the new government.
Under the Lancaster House Agreement, the 20 white members of Parliament cannot form a coalition with a minority black party to keep out a majority black party. But the whites can -- and possibly will -- coalesce with a group of minority black parties or even with a majority black party.