Jacob Zuma survives South African no-confidence motion

Jacob Zuma survives South African no-confidence motion

Jacob Zuma survives South African no-confidence motion

President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence vote in the latest and most serious attempt to unseat him after months of growing anger in South Africa over alleged corruption and a sinking economy.

In June, the nation's highest court said it was up to the speaker of parliament to decide whether the vote could be done by secret ballot. But because five parliament seats are now vacant, the opposition wants the count to be based on 395 seats instead.

Mr Zuma's critics have been calling for a secret ballot in the hope it will embolden MPs from his African National Congress (ANC) party to support his removal by shielding them from pressure.

In December, Zuma, who can not run for the third term under the country's legislation, will have to leave the presidential office ahead of the general election.

A 201-vote majority would be needed to remove him from power, and the ANC holds 249 seats in the 400-seat parliament.

"Most votes for a ANC new party leader are made by local branches, where Mr. Zuma appears more popular", said William Jackson of Capital Economics. And there was an ANC parliamentary caucus meeting ahead of the vote, with Zuma in attendance, but not speaking.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said in a statement released shortly after the vote that the result was "closer than anyone had expected".

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Zuma, who has held power in Africa's most industrialised economy since 2009 but whose time in office has been marked by allegations of sleaze and influence-peddling, has now survived nine no-confidence votes thanks to loyal backing from lawmakers in his ANC.

If the ruling African National Congress party, which has the clear majority in parliament, can not agree on a candidate in that time, new national elections would be held.

Former president Thabo Mbeki urged MPs on Tuesday to vote "honestly" in a vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. "2019 cannot come soon enough and that's why we need to ensure that what was clear today (Tuesday), the sooner we can get rid of the ANC, the better it will be for the people of South Africa".

Also at issue is Zuma's leadership as head of the party.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane had called the motion a "historic" opportunity for the country to "start moving South Africa in the right direction".

Some analysts saw the 75-year-old's survival of the no-confidence vote as a victory considering the outcome could have been much worse. Zuma's party has bailed him out from at least five previous attempts to remove him.

These are the Economic Freedom Fighters' application for an impeachment process against Zuma and the hearing before the Supreme Court of Appeal on the Spy Tapes saga.

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