Moyo: Fresh constitutional moves 'will not fly'
Government opponents immediately warned Chinamasa was trying to push back the Presidential elections scheduled for 2008 to 2010.
President Robert Mugabe used his ruling Zanu PF's huge majority in parliament to push through constitutional amendments last month, reintroducing an upper-house senate.
Under current laws, presidential elections are held every six years and legislative polls at five-year intervals.
"This is the clearest indication that Zanu PF is not concerned with addressing the economic meltdown but is using the constitution to sort out its succession disputes," said Professor Jonathan Moyo, a former government spokesman now an independent MP.
"This is the most sinister ploy to abuse the constitution yet. It must be resisted by all Zimbabweans wherever they are and by any means. If Chinamasa hopes to succeed in the same way he pushed through Constitutional Amendment No 17, this will simply not fly."
Chinamasa said Zanu PF was weighing various options to harmonise the elections, including reducing the current mandate of parliament by two years to 2008, when Mugabe's term also expires.
But Moyo, a government spokesman for five years until early this year said the government was being dishonest about its intentions.
"The announcement was disguised to hoodwink the public, because that will mean the senate that is elected in December will only be in office for 24 months, and we know that's not their intentions....those senators are elected to serve for five years," said Moyo.
"Chinamasa is going too far to atone for his alleged role in the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration. We have to stop them, and they will be stopped. They can use their claimed two thirds majority in parliament and we'll use the three thirds majority from the general populace."
President Robert Mugabe, 81, and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has said in several interviews that he would like to retire when his tenure expires in 2008 and says his party would choose a successor.
Said Chinamasa: "We have also at the party taken a decision to harmonise parliamentary and presidential elections, so various scenarios come to mind as to how we harmonise them.
"We can have an election of a president in 2008, only to serve for two years - from 2008 to 2010."
Chinamasa said another option would be to have a 7-year presidential term from 2008 so that "the harmonisation takes place from 2015 onwards."
The opposition Movement
for Democratic Change, which accuses the ruling party of stealing elections,
has in the past called for polls to be held at the same time.
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