Jacob Zuma threatens to collapse Parliament

Former president Jacob Zuma threatens he will order his MK Party MPs to collapse Parliament and the KZN Legislature.

Former president Jacob Zuma, whose Umkhonto we Sizwe Party (MK Party) received the lion’s share of the votes in KZN but not enough to form a provincial government on its own, has threatened to order the party’s MPs to collapse Parliament and the KZN Legislature if the party’s demand for a recount of election ballots is not met.

The MK Party alleges there were incidents of voter rigging in last week’s National and Provincial Elections, where the party secured 45 seats in the KZN Legislature and 58 in the National Assembly.

Addressing MK Party supporters in Johannesburg, Zuma said the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has refused to recount the votes despite the party having ‘evidence of vote rigging’.

“What happened is that IEC officials took MK’s votes and gave them to other political parties. We have concrete evidence to back this. Should they continue ignoring us, we could refuse to take up our seats in Parliament,” he said.

Regulations

According to legislature regulations, a certain number of MPLs and MPs must attend the first sitting where the speaker of the House and other senior office bearers would be elected. While a simple majority is required to get an MP elected as either a speaker, premier or president, the first sitting cannot proceed if the bulk of the MPLs and MPs are not present. Out of the KZN Legislature’s 80 seats, the MK Party has 37 — meaning the Provincial Legislature’s first sitting would be at risk of collapsing should MK Party MPLs boycott the session.

Zuma issued the warning to boycott the legislature amid speculation that the country’s major opposition parties were considering going into a coalition with the ANC to co-govern at the national level, and in KZN and Gauteng, which are currently hung as no political party has been able to get a 50%+1 majority in these structures.

‘Put the country first’

DA federal leader John Steenhuisen said the party’s federal executive committee has decided ‘to put the country first’ and engage in talks with parties, ‘including the ANC’.

On the other hand, the ANC top seven leaders met to discuss the outcome of last week’s general elections and consider the options available to the ruling party regarding forming a coalition.

While the ANC indicated that it was willing to talk to ‘any political party that matters’, the organisation made it clear that it will not enter a coalition agreement with MK Party.

This is due to MK leaders making it clear that one of their main conditions for entering a coalition with the ANC was that President Cyril Ramaphosa should resign as both leader of the ruling party and the country.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the ruling party was not in a position to accommodate the MK Party’s demand for Ramaphosa to step down.

“No political party can dictate such terms — in any case, the ANC doesn’t have such a mandate to remove Ramaphosa,” he said.

A call for peace

While in his address to MK Party supporters, Zuma made no mention of coalitions; the former president did call for peace as the party sought ways to compel the IEC to recount the ballots.

“You should not do anything that can result in people getting killed. You should not break shops and property. We need to work slowly with the IEC on this matter. We will not give up until the IEC corrects the irregularities — we are taking them to court as we speak,” Zuma said.

The MK Party is a signatory of the Electoral Code of Conduct, which enjoins parties not to attack the IEC, and to abide by its tried-and-tested systems of dealing with objections and allegations of electoral malfeasance.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said the commission has received 579 objections from political parties and assured the commission would listen to all arguments.

Meanwhile, the ANC’s National Executive Committee today hold a meeting where it will, among other things, discuss the issue of coalitions.

Read original story on witness.co.za

 
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