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Mugabe Signs Off on Zimbabwe Constitution Paving Way for Vote

Image: Mugabe Signs Off on Zimbabwe Constitution Paving Way for Vote

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:16 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe signed off on a new constitution after negotiations with his main political rival, paving the way for elections this year.

The president’s signature “means that this is the supreme law of the land,” Eric Matinenga, the minister for constitutional affairs, told reporters at State House in Harare Wednesday, where a signing ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The charter will enter force when published in the country’s Government Gazette later this week.

Mugabe described the constitution as “a happening of joy.” Under it, “none in our country, young and old, this religion, that religion, this tribe, that tribe, can say he or she is superior to others,” he said. “There is equality, equality, equality.”

The constitution has been in negotiation between Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party and Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change since the disputed elections of 2008.

After that vote, the two parties governed together under a power-sharing agreement that brought to an end a decade of political and economic crisis, which saw inflation surge to 500 billion percent according to the International Monetary Fund.

The next election may end the coalition. The Southern African Development Community, which brokered talks between the parties, said the 2008 vote was flawed and insisted on a new constitution before the next one is held.

It won’t be “practically and technically possible” to hold elections by June 29, the date preferred by Zanu-PF, Matinenga said Wednesday.

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe signed off on a new constitution after negotiations with his main political rival, paving the way for elections this year.
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2013-16-22
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:16 AM
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