South Africa’s Electoral Umpire Bars Ex-President Zuma From May Election

On Thursday, South Africa’s electoral commission announced that former President Jacob Zuma would not be running in the May 29 general election.

“In the case of former President Zuma, yes, we received an objection, which was upheld,” commission president Mosotho Moepya told reporters, without providing further specifics.

“The party that nominated him has been informed,” as have others who are opposed to the action, he said.

The ruling may be appealed if filed by April 2.

Zuma, 81, was thrown out of office in 2018 amid corruption charges.

He is running for the opposition uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party in an effort to revive his career while weakening his old party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The general election, following which the winner would appoint a president, is expected to be contentious.

The ANC is on the verge of losing 50 percent of the vote for the first time since it took power at the end of apartheid.

To remain in office, Nelson Mandela’s former party would have to create a coalition.

The ANC is losing support due to a weak economy and allegations of corruption and inefficiency.

According to the electoral commission, “any person who was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine” is unable to vote under the constitution.

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.

In addition to his 2021 contempt sentence, he is facing separate allegations of corruption in an arms procurement scam that occurred in the 1990s while he was vice president.

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