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draft constitution circulated to Mugabe, political leaders
Blessing Zulu, Voice of America (VOA)
November 05, 2007
Leaders of Zimbabwe's major parties including President Robert Mugabe,
who heads the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front,
and faction leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change have officially
received copies of a draft constitution put together by their negotiators
in South African-mediated crisis talks. Sources said Zanu PF negotiators
are tacitly calling for a government of national unity, but MDC
negotiators want to see the country shift away from the executive
presidency to a traditional parliamentary model with a prime minister.
Ruling party and opposition sources said that the draft constitution
would only limit the president to two five-year terms and also features
a US-style bill of rights. Despite these developments, there is
concern in some quarters that the question of Western sanctions
could derail the crisis resolution process.
negotiators insist the MDC must lobby the US and other nations to
lift their targeted sanctions. Opposition negotiators say they are
not in a position to do this, but sources said that a compromise
might be reached whereby South Africa and Zimbabwe's opposition
might convince the Western nations imposing sanctions on President
Mugabe and his inner circle to lift them temporarily to keep the
crisis-resolution process on track.
this week are also to take up the precise date for next year's elections.
The opposition is calling for the local, general and presidential
ballots to be pushed off if the accords reached in Pretoria cannot
be implemented in time for the elections to be held in March as
proposed by the ruling party and President Mugabe. Senior Researcher
Chris Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa
told VOA that he considers the compromise draft constitution to
be a step in the right direction.
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