Zimbabwe Leaders Give 2-Week Ultimatum for New Constitution

Posted March 2nd, 2012 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Zimbabwe's state media say President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are calling for a new constitution to be drafted within two weeks.

The government-owned Herald newspaper said Friday the two leaders are “deeply perturbed” by the slow pace of the constitutional drafting process. They have given a committee until March 15 to submit an initial draft.

President Mugabe has recently criticized what some see as deliberate delays in drafting the constitution, which was supposed to be in place a year ago.

Mr. Mugabe has promised to hold elections this year, with or without the constitution. But Prime Minister Tsvangirai insists Mr. Mugabe cannot call the election unilaterally, saying a vote cannot be held until the new constitution has been drafted.

Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party entered into a power-sharing deal with the Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC following violence-plagued elections in 2008. But progress has been slow and uneven, and the condition of the unity government remains fragile.