South Africa’s opposition party in parliament moves to dissolve the national assembly

August 10, 2017 10:30 pm

Parliamentary officials prepare the chamber prior to an unsuccessful vote of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma on August 8, 2017 in the South African National Assembly in Cape Town. (Photo by AFP)

South ’s opposition party in parliament has submitted a motion to dissolve the national assembly and hold fresh elections.
The attempt to dissolve parliament, which requires 201 out of 400 parliamentary votes to pass, is seen as unlikely to succeed as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party holds a majority of 249 of the house’s seats.

General view of South African parliament (File photo)

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) dissolution motion on Thursday comes hot on the heels of a failed no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma, who has survived multiple attempts by the opposition to remove him from power, narrowly survived the vote on Tuesday. Tuesday’s no-confidence motion was the first to be held by secret ballot.
ANC revolt
Zuma survived the vote by garnering 198 votes against 177. ANC described the outcome of the secret ballot as a disappointment for the ruling party. However, it did not say what measures it would take against the ANC members who voted against Zuma.  
More than 25 members of the ruling ANC party revolted and supported the motion or abstained, the ANC said.

This image shows ANC parliamentarians on August 8, 2017 in the South African National Assembly in Cape Town.

“We are deeply disappointed that some of our ANC members allowed themselves to be used by the opposition to fracture and weaken the ANC and destabilize our country,” the party said in a statement.
The ANC is expected to replace Zuma as party president at a meeting in December, but his term as head of state is set to continue until elections in 2019.
DA’s call for new elections
The DA claims the ANC is backing President Zuma while the nation no longer supports the 75-year-old leader who is facing allegations of corruption and incompetence resulting in an ailing economy.

’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party lawmakers on August 8, 2017 in the South African National Assembly in Cape Town (Photo by AFP)

The motion says some ANC lawmakers “no longer represent the earnest hopes and aspirations of the electorate” and “exhibit unquestioning fealty to President Jacob Zuma and to the organization he leads.”
“The ANC is willing to do anything to protect President Jacob Zuma,” said John Steenhuisen, the chief whip of the DA party. “South Africans need to be given the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls.”
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