Friday, June 05, 2009

South Africa's Zuma to serve two terms - union

South Africa's Zuma to serve two terms - union
Written by Reuters
Friday, June 05, 2009 2:54:44 PM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - New South African President Jacob Zuma will serve more than one term despite having previously said he planned to step down after five years, a union ally said on Friday. Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of trade union federation COSATU, said the union had discussed the matter with the president.

"He is not going to be a one-term president. And there's no discussions about it," Vavi said in comments broadcast on South Africa's Talk Radio 702 on Friday.

The presidency was not immediately available for comment, but local media quoted a ruling party spokeswoman as saying the matter had not been discussed by the African National Congress. The constitution allows presidents to serve two five-year terms.

South Africa's unions were instrumental in Zuma's rise to power within the African National Congress, which won a general election in April to maintain its dominance since the end of white minority rule in 1994.

The unions have become increasingly vocal in pushing Zuma for a policy shift to the left, but the government has said there can be no dramatic change while South Africa suffers its first recession in 17 years.

"The relationship with the ANC remains very, very strong," said Vavi

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