South Africa's main opposition wants to dissolve parliament

South Africa's main opposition wants to dissolve parliament


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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's main opposition party said Wednesday it will propose that parliament be dissolved and early elections be called after the country's president survived the most serious attempt yet to unseat him.

The Democratic Alliance statement came a day after President Jacob Zuma celebrated the failure of another no-confidence motion.

It was the first such vote on Zuma to be held by secret ballot, and dozens of members of his ruling African National Congress party revolted and supported the motion. The party holds a majority of parliament's 400 seats.

"We believe the voters should now have the chance to express their opinion about the conduct of the ANC in defending Jacob Zuma," Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

Zuma has faced growing anger over multiple allegations of corruption while the economy has slid into recession. His term is set to continue until elections in 2019.

The president carried on with business as usual Wednesday, addressing a crowd for the national Women's Day and making no mention of the events in parliament.

Zuma would have had to resign with his Cabinet if the motion had succeeded Tuesday night. Of the 384 votes cast in parliament, 177 were in favor of the no-confidence motion and 198 were against, with nine abstentions. The no-confidence motion needed 201 votes to succeed.

The Democratic Alliance said "the majority of the ANC have chosen corruption, looting" over the country's interests.

Concerns are growing that the decades-old liberation movement, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid and the first all-race elections in 1994, continues to unravel. Some party members have openly called for Zuma to step aside.

The party is expected to replace Zuma as ANC president at a meeting in December.

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Krista Mahr

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