South African lawmakers urged to vote against president

Ex-President Mbeki asks ruling ANC parliamentarians to back motion of no confidence against President Zuma

South African lawmakers urged to vote against president

World Bulletin / News Desk

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki Tuesday appealed to lawmakers of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to vote in the interest of the people during a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

In a letter published in Johannesburg’s Star Newspaper, Mbeki said parliamentarians are expected to be voices of the masses regardless of their political affiliation.

The vote against Zuma will be held next week in the parliament.

Zuma who came to power in 2009 has been accused of several corruption scandals. He has, however, survived several no confidence votes in the parliament because of the ANC’s majority in the National Assembly.

The ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, has 249 out of the 400 seats in the parliament. Mbeki served for nine years as the second post-apartheid president of South Africa before he resigned in 2008.

“Our MPs serve in parliament as representatives of the people. They do not serve as representatives of political parties‚ even as they are members of these parties,” Mbeki wrote in an open letter.

Tens of thousands of South Africans marched last Friday across major cities in the country demanding Zuma’s resignation for reportedly hurting the nation and its economy.

Two weeks ago, Zuma replaced several high-profile ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle leading to tumbling of the country’s currency and stock markets, causing losses in millions of dollars.

Opposition parties and civil society groups accused Zuma of planning to take control of the treasury after he fired his widely-respected Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.

Zuma denies all the accusations, saying his Cabinet reshuffle is aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness, while some analysts suggest the sacked ministers were performing well but were critical of the president and opposed the alleged growing government corruption.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Nisan 2017, 14:05