Feb. 13 (UPI) — The African National Congress party on Tuesday ordered South African President Jacob Zuma to leave office by the end of the day, or risk being removed by force.
During a 13-hour marathon in Pretoria on Monday, the ANC’s executive committee tried to end a prolonged standoff with Zuma, who has proposed to resign within three to six months.
Under South Africa’s national constitution, Zuma cannot be forced out of office.
After being the subject of several “no-confidence” votes in recent years, Zuma has as resisted pressure to resign and has remained as president after repeated corruption allegations.
In 2016, Zuma was ordered by South Africa’s top court to repay part of $15 million in public funds it said he misappropriated to upgrade his private home. The president also faces nearly 800 corruption allegations stemming from an arms deal during the 1990s.
The ANC could “recall” Zuma, which would pressure him to resign before his term ends next year. Opposition parties are calling for another vote of no confidence against Zuma next week.
Zuma, 75, has denied any wrongdoing. Unless he’s removed from office, he will remain South Africa’s president until at least 2019.
If Zuma resigns, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa will fill the vacancy until he is elected and sworn in by South African Parliament.
Zuma became South Africa’s fourth president when he assumed office in May 2009.