(HARARE, Zimbabwe) — Zimbabwe plans to hold elections this year whether the country has a new constitution or not, says a ruling party spokesperson.
The southern African nation is expected to hold the elections in 2012. The ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) signed a unity agreement in 2008 which is expected to end once new elections are called.
Election mediators including South African officials say democratic reforms including a new constitution are needed before elections can occur.
President Robert Mugabe, 88, has been in power since the country gained independence from British rule in 1980.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, Zayn Nabbi, Euan McKirdy and Angela Dewan, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN
Joe Sterling and Darran Simon, CNN
Samantha Beech, CNN