DEPUTY Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara has insisted that elections could still be held this year, ending the shaky inclusive government which has run the country since 2009.
President Robert Mugabe is pushing for fresh polls before year-end saying the coalition arrangement is no longer workable because of policy and other differences between the parties.
But his rivals, the MDC-T in particular, has insisted that the polls should be held after political reforms have been implemented to ensure the election outcome cannot be disputed.
A meeting of the SADC Organ on Defence, Politics and Security Co-operation in Luanda, Angola last week said new elections should be held within the next 12 months.
However, responding to a question in Parliament Wednesday, Mutambara said the country could hold elections this year.
Mutambara explained that SADC had outlined that there was need to agree on outstanding issues stalling the drafting of the new constitution.
"It is possible to have elections this year according to SADC," he said, adding,
"Our GPA allows us that if we reach a deadlock and its no longer workable then we have no choice we can have elections without a new constitution and the reforms. It is very likely.
“The other scenario is that we can actually do an analysis of what needs to be done and maybe agree that it will take us 13 months, which will take us to June 2013, which is when this Parliament expires because that is when the President was sworn in, the ultimate deadline is June 30, 2013."
Mutambara however, said it would be ideal for the country to hold elections with a new Constitution adding there was need for COPAC to "get their act together."
"Copac Select Committee must get its act together, the Management Committee must get their act together," he said.
“If we want reforms before the elections, we have to stop this dilly dallying. This House should also pass Bills, the Human Rights and the Electoral Amendment Bills, so we should get those done if we want reforms."
He said with the current delays in producing the draft Constitution the term of the current Parliament might expire without the new supreme law in place.
Mutambara also underscored the need to refrain from political violence as the nation edges towards the next polls.
"As you are now all aware there is now talk of elections but it does not make sense for us to envisage having a free and fair election when our people are violent to each other.
"You cannot legislate values and culture. These things must be built into the people to make sure that they are not violent," said Mutambara.