South African electoral body asks Supreme Court to rule on Zuma’s candidacy | Political news

by MMC
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Former president Jacob Zuma hopes to run for the opposition uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party in the May elections.

South Africa’s electoral commission says it has appealed to the country’s highest court to rule on whether former president Jacob Zuma can stand as a candidate in May’s general election.

The commission indicated in a press release on Friday that it had filed an “urgent and direct” appeal with the Constitutional Court in order to provide “certainty” on the correct interpretation of the constitutional article relating to the candidacies of convicted persons.

“Such clarity is important in the present case because of a current issue but also for future elections,” he said.

The appeal is the latest twist in a legal dispute over the 81-year-old politician’s eligibility, after a electoral court ruled this week that Zuma could run in the election, reversing an earlier decision that barred him from running.

Zuma hopes to run for president on behalf of the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, which he joined last year after denouncing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party he once led.

On May 29, South Africans will go to the polls to elect 400 members of the General Assembly. A month later, lawmakers in the new parliament will choose the next president.

Banking on the popularity of ZoumaMK hopes to gain enough votes to secure it seats in Parliament, while also reducing the ANC’s vote share.

The ANC could see its vote share fall below 50 percent for the first time since 1994. Lacking a parliamentary majority, it would be forced to seek coalition partners to stay in power, making Zuma a possible dealmaker. of king, analysts say.


Some opinion polls suggest MK tops 10 percent nationally, a share that would make it the third or fourth political force behind the ANC and the Liberal Democratic Alliance.

The party is expected to make a particularly strong showing in the battleground region of KwaZulu-Natal – Zuma’s home province.

This is largely based on the considerable political influence that Zuma still holds, who, despite scandals and corruption allegations, is popular, particularly among the country’s more than 10 million Zulus.

The electoral commission had disqualified Zuma, saying the Constitution prohibited anyone sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison in June 2021 after refusing to testify before a panel investigating financial corruption and cronyism during his presidency.

His lawyers argued that the sentence did not disqualify him because it followed civil rather than criminal proceedings and was shortened by a reduced sentence.

Zuma was released on medical grounds just two months into his prison sentence.

The commission stressed that the call “is not intended to get involved in the political game” but rather to ensure a “free and fair” electoral process.

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