Zimbabwe approves new constitution

  • Zimbabwe's new constitution has been approved by an overwhelming majority, the electoral commission said on Tuesday.

    More than three million voters cast their ballots in favor of the document, which limits future presidents to two five-year terms, on Saturday.

    The approval paves the way for elections later in the year.

    However, the constitution does not apply to past elections.

    This means that 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, can stand for re-election in a poll expected in July.

    Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai both supported the new constitution.

    The two parties have been in a volatile power-sharing deal in a bid to resolve a dispute over the result of Zimbabwe's last elections in 2008.

    A new constitution was one of the key conditions of the power-sharing deal.

    Mugabe and Tsvangirai, 61, are both expected to run for president again.

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