8 August 2017

South Africa: Zuma Survives No-Confidence Motion But With Fewer Votes

Photo: Bush Radio
The votes in a secret ballot for a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma was manually counted in Parliament.

Cape Town — South African President Jacob Zuma held onto his job on Tuesday, surviving a no-confidence vote in Parliament despite a mini-rebellion within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The vote was conducted by secret ballot, making it difficult to analyse numbers precisely, but the voting figures showed that about 20 to 30 ANC members of Parliament defied party instructions to vote for Zuma to remain president.

Of 384 votes cast, 198 were for Zuma, 177 were against and there were nine abstentions. There are 151 opposition members of Parliament.

Voting took place after a fractious debate in which ANC speakers accused the opposition of promoting a "coup" and "regime change".

The announcement by Speaker Balete Mbete on Monday that there would be a secret ballot had raised expectations that ANC MPs opposed to Zuma would vote against him in greater numbers. Only two ANC MPs had said openly ahead of the debate that they would vote against Zuma.

However, party leaders - including some opposed to Zuma's leadership - have resisted being forced to act against him at the behest of opposition parties. They argue that the party should decide on new leadership at a pace and in a manner of its own choosing. The party meets to elect a successor to Zuma, who is serving a second of two terms, in four months' time.

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