South Africa’s Ex-President Zuma Wins Court Bid To Run In May Election


A South African court on Tuesday ruled that former president Jacob Zuma can stand in looming general elections, overturning a decision by electoral authorities to bar him over a contempt conviction.

In a surprise verdict, the electoral court ruled in favour of the 81-year-old who is fronting uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new opposition party that has become a potential upsetter in the May 29 election.

“The decision of the Electoral Commission… is set aside,” the court wrote in a ruling seen by AFP.

It did not provide an explanation of how the verdict was reached.

South Africa’s general elections are expected to be the most competitive since the advent of democracy in 1994 and Zuma’s presence in the campaign could prove a key factor.

Banking on his popularity, MK is expected to cut into the vote share of the embattled ruling African National Congress (ANC) — the ex-president’s former political home.

This could precipitate the ANC towards seeing its vote share drop below 50 percent for the first time since 1994.

Short of a parliamentary majority, it would be forced to seek coalition partners to remain in power.

MK hailed the ruling as a “triumph” over what it said were ANC-led efforts to marginalise it.

“This victory extends beyond President Zuma and the MK Party as it symbolises a victory for every South African who believes in fairness, democracy, and the inviolable right to elect leaders of their choice, free from undue interference,” it said.

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