Officials overseeing the drafting of Zimbabwe's new constitution have dropped language that could have prevented President Robert Mugabe from contesting future elections as he has already served more than two terms, sources said Wednesday.
The term-limit clause now says a presidential candidate must be a Zimbabwean citizen at least 40 years old, and can serve a lifetime total of two five-year terms.
A constitutional-revision management committee which includes not only the co-chairmen of the select parliamentary committee running the process but also party negotiators, met Monday but only reached agreement on one of the issues that remained unresolved.
It was agreed to overhaul the office of the attorney general, sources said. But the political horse-trading session failed to agree on devolution of power, the death penalty dual citizenship and presidential powers, the sources said.
Select Committee Co-Chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party told reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe is now eligible to contest.
His counterpart, Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said the clause also has been tightened to ensure that no one in the future could serve as president for more than two terms.