Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party endorsed plans to call early polls two weeks ago despite strong opposition from coalition partners and civic groups which believe that the political climate is not yet right for a free and fair
“Sources yesterday said it was highly unlikely that the polls will be held before June as the crafting of the new supreme law looks certain to spill into the second half of the year,” said the paper well known for singing praises to President Mugabe and his party.
ZANU(PF) officials were not available for comment.Mugabe, 86, and long time rival and former trade unionist Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were forced into a coalition government two years ago after a disputed 2008 election which had exacerbated a severe economic crisis.
The unity government, which also includes a small MDC faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is credited with stabilising the country,s agro-based economy which had been destroyed by years of mismanagement and corruption by the Zanu (PF) government.
But Mugabe is adamant the coalition government will not be extended when its term expires sometime this year.It is understood that privately politicians from all the parties in the inclusive government have been lobbying for the postponement of elections.Critics say the outcome of rushed polls without political reforms would favour Mugabe,s party.