South African President Jacob Zuma has just survived another motion of no confidence in his presidency. Tuesday’s secret parliamentary ballot, championed by opposition Democractic Alliance, was the first to be held in the country’s post-apartheid era.
After a two-hour debate and lengthy voting process, 198 Members of Parliament voted for President Zuma to remain in office while 177 voted in favour of his removal. At least 30 MPs of the governing African National Congress voted against Zuma.
A simple majority of 201 votes would have sent President Zuma packing. He had survived several motions of no confidence, which were all held via open ballot.
In a dramatic twist, Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete on Monday announced that for the first time the vote would be held via secret ballot.
The latest motion was tabled by the DA leader Mmusi Maimane. He had earlier asked deputies to act “courageously” and vote President Zuma out. The vote this time, Maimane said, was about the people of South Africa and not political parties.
But ANC leaders, including Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, disagreed, accusing the opposition parties of seeking “regime change.”
Opposition was prompted by series of scandals Mr. Zuma had been embroiled in.
The ANC is bracing up for an elective conference in December when deputy The party goes to an elective conference Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former Minister and AU commission chairperson compete for the ANC presidency. Mr. Ramaphosa would have run the country until the elective conference was held had Zuma lost the confidence vote.