Mugabe to stand for re-election

HARARE: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, 86, said on Thursday that he was prepared to stand for re-election if asked to do so by his ZANU-PF party.

"If ZANU-PF says yes, I will," Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980, told journalists in a rare press conference. Elections are due in two years.

Mugabe and his longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai forged a national unity government a year ago under South African mediation, after a lengthy political crisis sparked by disputed elections.

"Elections will be a product of the constitution-making process," he said.

Under the pact which led to the formation of the unity government in February last year, the 2012 election will only take place under a new constitution.

The drafting of the new constitution has been marred by disruptions by Mugabe's supporters who are opposed to reforms. The process was halted in January to allow more public participation.

"If the process successfully ends, there will be an election. If it fails, that too will lead to an election.