Agence France-Presse

Zimbabwe’s president is expressing condolences over the death of longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and says upcoming elections must be free and fair “in tribute to him.”

Tsvangirai, who was the boldest opponent to longtime leader Robert Mugabe, died Wednesday in a Johannesburg hospital at age 65 after a long battle with cancer.

His death leaves Zimbabwe’s opposition in disarray with the first post-Mugabe elections approaching. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party was meeting Thursday on the way forward.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a longtime Mugabe ally, says in a statement that consultations are underway about what the government can do to “accord the late departed befitting honor.”

Mnangagwa has repeatedly promised fair elections as he seeks to attract foreign investment after years of international sanctions over alleged human rights abuses.

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