Former South African President Jacob Zuma excluded from May elections | Political news

by MMC
0 comment

These elections are expected to be the most competitive since 1994, when the country became a democracy.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma was banned to run in the May elections, the electoral commission said.

South Africa is due to hold a general election on May 29, in what is expected to be the most competitive vote since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Zuma campaigned for the recently formed uMkhonto WeSizwe (MK) (Spear of the Nation) party in a bid to revive his career, after being jailed for contempt of court in 2021.

“In the case of former President Zuma, yes, we received an objection, which was upheld,” Electoral Commission chairman Mosotho Moepya told reporters on Thursday, without giving details.

“The party that nominated him has been informed,” as have those who oppose the decision, he said.

Jacob Zuma in Durban, South Africa, March 27, 2024 (Rogan Ward/Reuters)

Close race

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is on the verge of falling below 50 percent of the vote for the first time since it came to power in 1994.

The party is losing support amid economic weakness and allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

If the ANC falls below the 50 percent threshold, it will force the party, once led by Nelson Mandela, to form a coalition to stay in power.

Recent polls give the ANC just over 40 percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent for the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and 13 percent for the MK party.

Zuma’s term ended in 2018 under a cloud of corruption allegations when outgoing President Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him.

He was later sentenced to 15 months in prison in June 2021 after refusing to testify before a panel investigating financial corruption and cronyism under his presidency. His imprisonment sparked protests, riots and looting that left more than 350 people dead.

He was released on medical parole only two months into his sentence.

An appeal court later ruled that Zuma’s release had been unlawfully granted and ordered him to do so. return to prison.

But upon his return to a correctional centre, he immediately received a reduced sentence for non-violent offenders approved by Ramaphosa.

The electoral commission said in a statement that under the Constitution, “any person convicted of an offense and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment without possibility of fine” cannot stand for election.

Zuma also faces separate corruption charges over an arms procurement scandal in the 1990s when he was vice president.

Despite his legal troubles, Zuma still wields political influence and campaigns for the MK party in a bid to revive his career and weaken his former party, the ANC, which suspended him in January.

The decision to exclude Zuma can be appealed before April 2.

MK spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndlhela told the AFP news agency that the party was “studying the merits of this objection but we will of course appeal”.

(Al Jazeera)

You may also like

Leave a Comment

afriqaa (1)

The news website dedicated to showcasing Africa news is a valuable platform that offers a diverse and comprehensive look into the continent's latest developments. Covering everything from politics and economics to culture and wildlife conservation

Newsletter Subscribe

Follow Us

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin Youtube Email

u00a92022 All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign