Court Rules South Africa's Zuma Eligible for Election

    Court Rules South Africa's Zuma Eligible for Election
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    The Facts

    • The Electoral Court of South Africa on Tuesday overturned a ruling banning former Pres. Jacob Zuma from running for office in the May 29 general election, allowing him to contest the presidential race for the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK).

    • Zuma had previously been disqualified from the ballot on the grounds that anyone found guilty of a crime and given a jail term longer than 12 months is constitutionally prohibited from seeking public office.


    The Spin

    Narrative A

    As if Zuma being allowed to run for office despite an equivocal constitutional case against him wasn't enough, the court has so far outrageously avoided issuing its reasoning. It's urgent that the court explains how its verdict was reached, otherwise the electoral process will lack credibility.

    Narrative B

    The strict deadlines of the Electoral Commission prompted the court to issue a hurried order without reason. A written judgment is expected to be delivered next week. Yet, it's very likely that the main reason for this verdict is the fact that Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa handed Zuma a remission of sentence in a bid to avoid riots, effectively reducing his sentence.


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