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South African Electoral Commission Bars Former President Zuma To Contest Next Election

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The Independent Electoral Commission has decided that Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, is ineligible to contest in the next elections. The former president can file an appeal until April 2.

At a press conference on Thursday, March 28, the commission said that it had upheld a protest against Zuma’s candidacy for the May 29 elections.

Zuma was given a 15-month prison sentence in July 2021 for disobeying a court order to appear before a judicial inquiry looking into claims of corruption made during his administration from 2009 to 2018. After two months, he was given medical parole and allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence under home arrest.

According to South Africa’s Constitution, a person convicted and sentenced to more than a year in prison, without the possibility of a fine, is not allowed to hold public office.

When Zuma was questioned about extensive claims of corruption throughout his reign, particularly the part played by an Indian family called the Guptas, who were purportedly able to influence his Cabinet nominations, he and his legal team abruptly left the courtroom.

Zuma, 81, can file an appeal of the commission’s decision until April 2.

After criticizing the ruling African National Congress, which he had previously commanded, he became the face of a new political party, uMkhonto weSizwe Party, also shortened as MK, which has emerged as a potentially important factor in South Africa’s forthcoming elections.

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