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Political leaders vote in poll for a new constitution in Zimbabwe

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Political leaders vote in poll for a new constitution in Zimbabwe
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A referendum is coming to a close in Zimbabwe for a constitution which would pave the way for a new era in the country dominated by one man.

89-year-old President Robert Mugabe has ruled over the ex-British colony for three decades since independence. The new rules would curb presidential powers and limit the president to two terms in office of five years. However, Mugabe could still stand in the next election expected later this year as it would not apply retroactively.

Both Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party back the constitution.

Commentators say the vote is a mere rubber stamp exercise. The referendum was a condition of the power-sharing deal brokered between political opponents Mugabe and Tsvangirai after the violently disputed elections in 2008.

Analysts say the vote is considered a litmus test ahead of national elections in July. So far there have been few reports of violence.

Polls are set to close at 5pm GMT with the results announced within 5 days.