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US News South African ruling party leaders push for Zuma resignation

11:00  13 february  2018
11:00  13 february  2018 Source:   ap.org

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Initially Mr. Zuma ’s presidency inspired hope in millions of South Africans , especially the poorest. Only hours before his resignation he sounded defiant and aggrieved during a live interview with the state broadcaster SABC, after party leaders threatened to hold the no-confidence vote on Thursday.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — South Africa ’s ruling party called Tuesday for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma , a remarkable illustration of the political divisions that continue to widen here nearly two decades after Nelson Mandela’s retirement.

FILE - In this Dec. 16 2017, file photo South African President Jacob Zuma, addresses delegates at the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in Johannesburg. Leaders of the ANC party are struggling to remove Zuma from office amid reports he asked for concessions in exchange for his resignation. The ANC says it will announce the results of a marathon meeting of its national executive committee later on Tuesday Feb, 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 16 2017, file photo South African President Jacob Zuma, addresses delegates at the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in Johannesburg. Leaders of the ANC party are struggling to remove Zuma from office amid reports he asked for concessions in exchange for his resignation. The ANC says it will announce the results of a marathon meeting of its national executive committee later on Tuesday Feb, 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

JOHANNESBURG — South African President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday faced increasing pressure from the ruling ANC party to resign, as the government struggled to resolve a leadership crisis that has dragged on since last week.

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[ Ruling party demand for Zuma resignation deepens South Africa uncertainty]. But support for Zuma has eroded since Ramaphosa replaced him as party leader in December. Even longtime allies who staunchly supported Zuma for years also demanded that he step down.

The 75-year-old Zuma had been under strong pressure from his ruling African National Congress, or ANC, to leave office before the end of his term. Earlier Wednesday, Zuma gave an interview on South Africa ’s state broadcaster SABC. In it, he said party leaders had not given him a clear reason

Leaders of the African National Congress concluded that Zuma should quit during a marathon committee meeting that ended overnight, South African media reported. However, the continuing lack of a resolution to the country's political limbo indicated that the president was spurning the demands of many former supporters and possibly holding out for concessions in exchange for his resignation.

The impasse highlighted the disarray within the party that previously was the main movement against white minority rule and has led South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. The ANC once commanded moral stature as the party of Nelson Mandela, but corruption scandals linked to Zuma have cut into its popularity ahead of national elections in 2019.

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Jacob Zuma , the president of South Africa , has resigned after days of defying orders from the ruling African The resignation ended an extraordinary day in South African politics, which had Party strategists wanted Zuma to be sidelined as quickly as possible to allow the ANC to regroup before

Facing insurmountable pressure from the African National Congress, South African President Jacob Zuma has stepped down. The 75-year-old leader 's approval ratings had been sinking along with those of his ruling party , the African National Congress.

The ANC on Tuesday planned to announce the results of the 13-hour meeting of its national executive committee, which has about 100 members. However, if Zuma rejects any instruction from his own party to resign, the matter could go to parliament for a vote on a motion of no confidence that would bolster the opposition's standing.

An opposition-backed motion of no confidence had been scheduled for Feb. 22, but its sponsors want the vote to be moved up to this week. Zuma has survived similar motions against him in the past, but many ruling party members now see him as a political liability and would likely vote against him.

Zuma, who took office in 2009 and is in his second five-year term, has asked for state security for his family, payment of legal fees and a few more months in office in exchange for quitting, said South African media, citing unidentified ANC sources.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma's expected successor, has held private talks with the president on a power transition, angering opposition parties who described the process as an affront to South African democracy. Last week, Ramaphosa promised a "speedy resolution" to the discussions, but the protracted standoff has raised questions about the political clout of the man poised to lead the country.

Zuma has been discredited by scandals, although he denies wrongdoing.

South Africa's top court ruled that he violated the constitution following an investigation of multi-million-dollar upgrades to his private home that were paid by the state; a judicial commission is about to start a probe of alleged looting of state enterprises by Zuma's associates; and prosecutors are expected to announce soon whether they will reinstate corruption charges tied to an arms deal two decades ago.


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