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Zuma cleared to run for South Africa Presidency

In a recent development, a South African court has ruled that former president Jacob Zuma can contest the upcoming national elections in May.

This verdict comes after Zuma appealed a ban imposed by the electoral commission last month, which stated that he couldn’t compete for a seat in parliament.

The commission cited the constitution, which bars people who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than one year in prison from running for office.

Zuma, who was forced to resign in 2018 amid numerous corruption scandals, was sentenced to 15 months in jail earlier this year for contempt of court after he refused to appear in a corruption investigation.

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However, Zuma’s lawyers argued in court that the ban didn’t apply to him since he was granted a remission. He had only served three months before being released on health grounds.

The court’s decision is expected to cause unrest in the governing African National Congress (ANC) party, of which Zuma was a lifelong member. However, he threw his support behind a newly formed political party called uMkhonto weSizwe or MK late last year. The ANC suspended Zuma, but he has since been campaigning as the face of MK.

It’s worth noting that the elections in May are anticipated to be the most fiercely contested ever, with surveys suggesting that the ANC could win less than 50% of the vote for the first time since democracy was established in 1994.

Although Zuma still has massive support in his home province of Kwa Zulu-Natal, there is still a legal question over whether he could ever become president again since he was already in his second term when he was forced out.

Speaking outside the court, Zuma told supporters that he would be happy to lead the country again.

In South Africa, citizens don’t directly elect a president. Instead, they vote for members of parliament, and whichever party wins a majority puts their leader forward as president.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is an international writer with expertise in politics, business and public affairs.

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