Mugabe to push for elections despite constitution deadlock

ZIMBABWE's ailing President Robert Mugabe has vowed to forge ahead with elections if parties in the country's shaky power-sharing government fail to agree on a new constitution, state radio has reported.

"President Robert Mugabe said the inclusive government was not meant to be a permanent establishment and if there is no consensus or political agreement to come up with a new constitution, he has the constitutional right to dissolve parliament and call for elections," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said.

Mugabe made the statement on his arrival from Singapore where he was on holiday. He dismissed as "naked lies," media reports that he had gone to Malaysia to seek treatment.

He said if the parties in the government reach a deadlock on the constitution, he can invoke the old constitution and call for general elections.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party said elections will be held without fail this year to choose a successor to the power-sharing government formed nearly two years ago to avoid a descent into conflict and mend the economy in the aftermath of disputed elections.

As part of their pact the parties agreed to draft a new constitution, amend media and electoral laws to ensure free and fair elections.

The drive to draft a new constitution was marred by threats and violence over divergent views.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has vowed to forge ahead with elections if parties in the country’s shaky power-sharing government fail to agree on a new constitution, state radio reported Sunday.

"President Robert Mugabe said the inclusive government was not meant to be a permanent establishment and if there is no consensus or political agreement to come up with a new constitution, he has the constitutional right to dissolve parliament and call for elections," the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said.

Mugabe made the statement on his arrival from Singapore where he was on holiday. He dismissed as "naked lies," media reports that he had gone to Malaysia to seek treatment.

He said if the parties in the government reach a deadlock on the constitution, he can invoke the old constitution and call for general elections.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party said elections will be held without fail this year to choose a successor to the power-sharing government formed nearly two years ago to avoid a descent into conflict and mend the economy in the aftermath of disputed elections.

As part of their pact the parties agreed to draft a new constitution, amend media and electoral laws to ensure free and fair elections.

The drive to draft a new constitution was marred by threats and violence over divergent views.