PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T party pushed on Saturday for approval of a disputed draft constitution needed for new elections, calling it "the best document" possible.
Party spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, said that if the draft was looked at objectively, "one will come to the unescapable conclusion that it is the best document so far since 1896." That date marks the colonisation of the country by Britain.
A new constitution, which is to be put to a public referendum, is one of Zimbabwe's main reforms ahead of elections to replace an uneasy coalition formed by President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai three years ago.
The coalition was designed to prevent the country from tipping into wider conflict in the aftermath of the violent 2008 presidential election.
European Union officials have said they would lift most sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe a decade ago once the country has held a "credible" vote on a new constitution.
Mwonzora said his party's officials were satisfied with the draft and had agreed to support the document, which was completed last week by negotiators from the country's two man political parties.
"Although there are some things that the MDC may have wanted included in the Constitution, the MDC respects the will of the people of Zimbabwe and the fact that some aspects of this Constitution had to be negotiated," he said.
"The party resolved that the people of Zimbabwe must be given opportunity to decide on the draft through a referendum."
Some analysts have criticised the document as a flawed compromise which will not have any effect, however.
The proposed constitution would curtail presidential powers and impose a two-term limit of 10 years. Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
It would also strip the president of immunity from prosecution once he leaves office, a major concern for Mugabe who fears being hauled to court over human rights abuses.
Following a long debate on allowing same-sex marriage and ending capital punishment, the draft defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and maintains the death penalty except for women and people aged 70 or older.
It provides for citizenship by birth, descent or registration but does not allow dual citizenship.
The draft also foresees compensation for white farmers who were forced off their land by Mugabe's controversial land reforms and protects the property rights of the new farmers.