Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe wants to hold elections in March 2013 with a referendum on a new constitution in November, court papers reveal.
His long-time rivals in the Movement for Democratic Change have condemned this timetable as "unrealistic".
The two sides are unable to agree on a draft constitution, which is supposed to be in place before the new election.
Until now, Mr Mugabe has always insisted that the elections should be held this year.
The MDC, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, backed by South African mediators, insists that a new constitution is in place before the new polls to ensure they are free and fair.
President Mugabe has always denied accusations that previous elections were rigged in his favour.
Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the previous election, in 2008, citing systematic attacks on his supporters by the army and pro-Mugabe militias.
With the uncertainty pushing Zimbabwe's economy into freefall, the pair then agreed to form a power-sharing government.
Mr Mugabe's proposed election timetable was included in court papers in a case about when to hold by-elections.
BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding says this is by no means a fixed date for Zimbabwe's long awaited elections but it is a sign of growing urgency.
But it was immediately rejected by MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.
"The date for the election, especially, is unilateral, unrealistic and has no scientific or legal basis," he told the AFP news agency.