Foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country officially took over the EU rotating presidency on Tuesday, told France 2 television that the French presidency along with the European Commission have clearly stated that the Zimbabwe government will be branded 'illegitimate' if it isn't led by opposition leader Tsvangirai.
A spokesman for Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party denounced the demand from the EU. He said: "This exposes the imperialist tactics of our enemies in the West, whose economic sanctions against us are killing ordinary Zimbabweans through starvation. They want to impose their puppet as our leader, and say no one else is acceptable, yet they have the cheek to call us undemocratic."
Kouchner spoke after the African Union called for a national unity government in Zimbabwe following the controversial re-election of President Robert Mugabe in poll scarred by violence.
The African Union (AU) summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Tuesday adopted a resolution calling for dialogue between Zimbabwe's political foes and forming a national unity government.
The AU agreed to encourage President Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai "to initiate a dialogue with a view to promoting peace and stability," according to the resolution.
It also decided "to support the call for the creation of a government of national unity, to support SADC (Southern African Development Community) facilitation."