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Zuma files legal challenge to halt the first sitting of South Africa's new parliament

SOUTH AFRICA’S third biggest political party, led by former president Jacob Zuma, has filed legal papers on Tuesday seeking to halt the first sitting of Parliament scheduled for tomorrow.

The sitting is scheduled to elect the country’s president.

Mr Zuma’s Spear of the Nation (MK) party has said none of its 58 newly elected lawmakers will attend the sitting. 

The party earlier filed objections with the Independent Electoral Commission alleging widespread irregularities in national elections last month in which they received just over 14 per cent of the vote.

MK has not offered evidence to back up its allegations. The commission has said it has addressed all objections.

The legal challenge now asks the Constitutional Court to set aside the commission’s decision to declare the election free and fair, and to order the president to call another election.

The election saw the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party lose its majority in parliament for the first time since taking power three decades ago at the end of the apartheid era.

The ANC now seeks to form a government of national unity with various opposition parties,

The outcome of those talks will determine who parliament chooses as South Africa’s president. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mr Zuma’s long-time rival is seeking re-election for a second term.


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