South African opposition parties on Monday (Feb 12) called for early elections as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wrestled with a leadership battle between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. “We must proceed to the dissolution of parliament… subsequent to that, we move on to an early election,” Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters, speaking alongside several opposition parties. The ANC’s executive committee held a special meeting on Monday, and could “recall” Zuma from office. But Zuma – who has refused to resign – would be under no constitutional obligation to obey the order.
Julius Malema, of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters party, said the extended deadlock was a political crisis for the country and called for an immediate parliamentary vote of no confidence to oust Zuma.
“Once we remove Zuma, parliament must be dissolved,” he said.
The ANC has insisted there will be no delay to the budget, which is due on Feb 21.