New Constitution agreed?

There are reports from South Africa that both the ruling Zanu-PF party
the opposition MDC have agreed on the need for a new constitution
next year's elections.

The SADC led mediation talks between the MDC and Zanu-PF are believed

>have reached a decisive stage in the negotiation process, where an
was also reportedly reached to substantively amend or repeal
laws like POSA and AIPPA.

Reliable sources told Newsreel on Thursday that the latest talks, which
began in Pretoria on Wednesday, focused mainly on a new constitution,
AIPPA, the media laws and the general political environment in
Zimbabwe. The
role of the police, the CIO and the army is expected to be the next
important item on the agenda before the finalisation of the talks,
in two weeks’ time.

The seriousness of the talks has been gauged by the presence of MDC
President Morgan Tsvangirai, who is leading an expanded team comprising
almost his entire cabinet, known as the standing committee. One source
the decision by the MDC to participate in next year’s elections hinges
the success of these talks.

While Zanu-PF has all but agreed to some of the demands brought up by
MDC, the ruling party has however refused to let almost five million
Zimbabweans living in the diaspora vote in next year’s elections.

‘I’m informed that a lot has been covered during these current talks
and a
lot more is expected to be covered before the end of October. But the
issue so far from the talks has been the refusal by Zanu-PF to let
living in exile participate in next year’s polls,’ said one source.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is expecting the negotiating
parties to
conclude the talks before the end of October as he is expected to
present to
SADC a comprehensive report on the outcome of the negotiations.

Political commentator Oliver Mudyarabikwa said it might be easy for
to tell the world it will repeal the restrictive laws, but might find
difficult to honor the pledge because they always thrive on violence
intimidation. – SW RAdio Africa

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