Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, casts his vote during a referendum at a polling station in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, on March 16, 2013. Zimbabweans on Saturday started voting on the country's new constitution which will, for the first time, limit the term of a president. (Xinhua/Li Ping)
HARARE, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabweans on Saturday started voting on the country's new constitution which will, for the first time, limit the term of a president.
If the draft passes, it will replace the constitution written on the eve of the southern African country's independence from Britain in 1980 and paves way for the presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.
It is the second attempt to change Zimbabwe's constitution. The first in 2000 failed after the majority dismissed a draft on the basis that it vested too much power in the president.
The electoral body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), has so far accredited close to 2,000 local and foreign observers for the plebiscite.
A total of 12 million ballot papers have been printed, with Harare taking the highest number of 1,749,000, followed by the Midlands Province with 1,600,000 ballots.
ZEC has established 9,456 polling stations and appointed 56,736 polling stations for the referendum.
Results will be announced within five days, the electoral body said.