South Africa's ruling party said Saturday that President Thabo Mbekihad agreed to resign after being asked to step down, a move that couldheighten turmoil in Africa's economic powerhouse.I think I need to find out what else prompted this. Well it was said in this article there was some pressure to call for early elections from a former deputy. This might require some digging.
African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said thetop-level National Executive Committee has ''decided to recall thepresident of the republic before his term of office expires.''
Mantashe said that Mbeki accepted the news.
ADDITION: Here's more from Bloomberg:
The order by the ANC's 86-member National ExecutiveCommittee came eight days after a High Court judge suggestedMbeki pressured prosecutors to pursue corruption charges againstZuma, the likely winner in 2009 elections. He can't be namedimmediately because he is not a member of parliament. Thelegislature will choose an interim successor from its ranks.It seems like Zuma was able to force this. Zuma might be the next President of South Africa. He's even said to have been courting white South Africans:
Zuma, 66, has the backing of labor unions and the CommunistParty, who opposed Mbeki's sale of state companies and effortsto balance the budget deficit. Zuma, who wrested control of theANC from Mbeki in a Dec. 18 party vote, has pledged to increasespending on health and education and do more to fight crime.
``We are determined to heal the rifts that may exist'' inthe party, ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe told reporterstoday in Johannesburg.
Zuma has also courted poor white Afrikaners, alienated byMbeki's criticism of South Africa's white community and byaffirmative-action policies.Of course Zuma has his problems which was probably why he was forced to leave the Mbecki administration...
``We are going to go through a phase of quite a lot ofpolicy uncertainty,'' said Kevin Lings, an economist at StanlibAsset Management in Johannesburg, said in a telephone interview.``Zuma is by his nature, and the way he's approached things,more consultative than Mbeki. It will delay decisions on keypolicy initiatives.''
Zuma has been under investigation for taking bribes fromarms dealers since 2001, and charges against him were reinstatedon Dec. 28.The ANC is the dominant party in South Africa so it's not likely that there will be a big shakeup. Who else might be able to step in if the ANC seems unable to govern?
Judge Chris Nicholson invalidated the charges on Sept. 12,saying prosecutors didn't follow proper procedures and that thecase may have been politically motivated, a ruling the NationalProsecuting Authority plans to appeal.