Political News

South Africa's main opposition wants to dissolve parliament

Posted August 9

— South Africa's main opposition party said Wednesday it will propose that parliament be dissolved and early elections be called after the country's president survived the most serious attempt yet to unseat him.

The statement by the Democratic Alliance came a day after President Jacob Zuma celebrated the failure of another no-confidence motion.

It was the first such vote on Zuma to be held by secret ballot, and dozens of members of his ruling African National Congress party revolted and supported the motion.

Zuma has faced growing anger in South Africa over multiple allegations of corruption while the economy has slid into recession. His term is set to continue until elections in 2019.

Zuma would have had to resign with his Cabinet if the motion had succeeded Tuesday night. Of the 384 votes cast in parliament, 177 were in favor of the no-confidence motion and 198 were against, with nine abstentions. The no-confidence motion needed 201 votes to succeed.

The Democratic Alliance said after the vote that "the majority of the ANC have chosen corruption, looting" over the country's interests.

Concerns are growing that the decades-old liberation movement, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid and the first all-race elections in 1994, continues to fracture. Some party members have openly called for Zuma to step aside.

Dozens of ANC members supported the no-confidence motion, as the ruling party holds 249 of the 400 parliament seats, five of them currently vacant.

The party is expected to replace Zuma as ANC president at a meeting in December.


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