Ex-President Zuma Wins Court Bid To Run For Election

A court on Tuesday permitted former President Jacob Zuma to run in the May general elections, overriding an earlier decision by electoral authorities that barred him due to a past conviction.

The electoral court ruled in favour of Zuma, 81, who is running for uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), a new opposition party that has emerged as a dark horse in the election race.

The electoral court’s order, seen by AFP, stated that the Electoral Commission’s decision has been set aside.

It did not explain how the verdict was reached.

South Africa will hold general elections on May 29 in what is considered to be the most contested election since the establishment of democracy in 1994.

Zuma’s ability to run could play a significant role in the election’s result.

Based on Zuma’s popularity, MK is projected to significantly reduce the vote share of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the ex-president’s former political party.

This might lead to the ANC’s worst performance in three decades, with it falling below 50% of the vote and failing to secure a parliamentary majority.

The electoral commission had previously barred Zuma from standing for office, citing the constitution’s prohibition on anyone convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than 12 months in prison.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in jail in June 2021 for refusing to testify before a commission investigating financial wrongdoing and favoritism during his administration.

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