Both factions of Zimbabwe's divided opposition have pledged to oppose the move by President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party to extend his term by two years under the guise of "harmonizing" presidential and general elections.
But the legal position of the Movement for Democratic Change is relatively weak and its options limited, as ZANU-PF has amended the constitution more or less at will since claiming a two-thirds parliamentary majority in a March 2005 general election.
Harare North member of parliament Trudy Stevenson of the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that her party is ready to unite with other opposition forces to keep the ruling party from “harmonizing” the elections so as to keep Mr. Mugabe in power until 2010.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network Chairman Reginald Matchaba Hove said public opinion must be brought to bear as in 2000, when voters were called to express their opinion on a draft constitution. Voters rejected the document 55% to 45%..
Kuwadzana legislator Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the MDC faction of Morgan Tsvangirai, said the political grouping will continue to mobilize the public and other stakeholders against a "harmonization" that would extend Mr. Mugabe's term.