Zimbabwe's highest court has ordered the nation's president to hold crucial elections by the end of July.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled Friday that President Robert Mugabe erred in not proclaiming an election date linked to the automatic dissolution of Zimbabwe's parliament on June 29 at the end of its current five-year term.

The judge said Mugabe's failure to announce the election date was "a violation of his duties."

A new constitution overwhelmingly accepted in a March 16 referendum requires amendments to electoral laws and voting procedures that lawyers groups say need about two months to complete.

Veritas, an independent legal research group, said Friday that the court's July date is impractical.

A private lawsuit was brought to the court on May 24 to force Mugabe to call early polls.