South African Political Party Led by Zuma Seeks to Halt Parliament Election of Country’s President

Former president and now leader of the MK Party, Jacob Zuma, speaks at the Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, June 1, 2024. The African National Congress party has lost its parliamentary majority in a historic election result that puts South Africa on a new political path for the first time since the end of the apartheid system of white minority rule 30 years ago. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

South Africa’s third biggest political party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, has filed legal papers seeking to halt the first sitting of Parliament scheduled for Friday to elect the country’s president.

Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe Party has said none of its 58 newly elected lawmakers will attend the sitting. The party earlier filed objections with the Independent Electoral Commission alleging widespread irregularities in national elections last month. The party received just over 14% of the vote.

The party, also known as MK, has not publicly offered evidence to back up its allegations. The commission has said it has addressed all objections.

The legal challenge now asks the Constitutional Court to set aside the commission’s decision to declare the election free and fair, and to order the president to call another election.

The election saw the ruling African National Congress party lose its majority in parliament for the first time since taking power three decades ago at the end of the apartheid era.

The ANC now seeks to form a government of national unity with various opposition parties,

The outcome of those talks will determine who parliament chooses as South Africa’s president. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma’s rival, is seeking re-election for a second term.

– Mogomotsi Magome, AP News

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