ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change have tentatively agreed on a clause in the new constitution that will model Zimbabwe's presidential election along the lines of the American system whereby candidates choose their running mates.
Under the American system, a running mate is person running with another person on a joint ticket during an election.
The term is often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position.
In the event of the presidential candidate winning the polls, the running mate automatically becomes the vice president.
Locally, presidential candidates appointed election managers in the previous election.
For example, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Defence Minister and ZANU-PF's secretary for legal affairs, acted as President Robert Mugabe's election manager in the controversial 2008 presidential polls while Tendai Biti, the Minister of Finance and Movement for Democratic Change secretary general, was Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's manager.
Sources privy to the delicate negotiations involving the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC), whi-ch is charged with drafting the new constitution, said the three political parties have also resolved to maintain two Vice Presidents with the running mate of the winning presidential candidate automatically becoming the first Vice President of the Republic.
The winning President would have the constitutional mandate to appoint the second Vice President. The Preside-ntial term limit remains two, five-year terms.
COPAC's management committee met for four-days at a secret location in the resort town of Nyanga last week but could not tie up all the loose ends in the new constitution.
The committee is scheduled to meet again before the end of this week to conclude the process.
While ZANU-PF insiders saw the issue of a running mate as meant to address President Mugabe's internal succession problems, they said negotiators from all the parties in the inclusive government viewed it as a way of enhancing Zimbabwe's political syste-m, making it more fascinating for the coming generations.
They added that the issue of a presidential running mate, which has been in the United States system since time immemorial, would ensure long-term political stability, which critics say, has sadly been in short supply in Zimbabwe. It would also ensure political certainty, they argued.
For instance, if President Mugabe nominates Joice Mujuru as his running mate, it can almost be guaranteed that she automatically becomes Zimbabwe's next President should the former resign, become incapacitated or die in office.
Political analysts said a running mate tells a lot about what the prospective president stands for, what his/her principles are and if he/she is capable of moving the nation forward.
"It just makes, in my view, the whole electoral process much, much more exciting. America has used this method for centuries to great national benefit," said Psychology Maziwisa, a political analyst.
"By nominating a running mate, the president's choice becomes public and there is no anxiety anymore about who is most likely to succeed him," he added.