Zimbabweans vote in key referendum

  • Zimbabweans are heading to the polls to vote in a key referendum on a new constitution as political tensions escalate.

    Both main parties, Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are pushing their supporters to back the constitution, which would in elections later this year.

    The draft constitution limits the president to two five-year terms though this will 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 support the new constitution, meaning it is almost guaranteed to be approved.

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

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

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