JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party called on Wednesday for calm as negotiations proceeded to see whether the president of the country would stay in office or not.
ANC head, Cyril Ramaphosa, stated that progress had been made to reach a quick resolution on the debate about the possible exit of South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma.
“I am aware that the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Head of State and Government is a cause for concern among many South Africans,” Ramaphosa tweeted.
Ramaphosa stressed however, that the ANC’s internal discussions had been “constructive” and laid the foundations for “a speedy resolution” in the interest of the African country and its people.
He added that further details about the future of the president would be given once they have completed all “pertinent matters,” noting that he and Zuma were aware that South Africans needed to have an end to this crisis.
The current president’s term limit expires June 2, 2019, but corruption scandals led to Zuma’s ouster as the head of the ANC in December and replacement by Vice President Ramaphosa, who is considered the favorite to win the 2019 presidential election.
The ANC’s rules state that all party members, including elected officials, must submit to the will of the party, although if Zuma does not want to leave office, the only possible way to remove him from the presidency would be a parliamentary motion of no confidence.
After overcoming seven previous motions of no confidence related to corruption, Zuma will face a new one on Feb. 22, requested by an opposition party.
In recent weeks there has been growing rumors of a possible departure for Zuma, forced by the ANC itself, despite the fact that Ramaphosa maintains a public message of party unity.