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Opposition leaders move to unseat Mbeki

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Members of the populist movement in South Africa formulated measures to force President Thabo Mbeki from office early, paving the way for new leadership.

Jacob Zuma, the populist frontrunner, is bidding for the party leadership of the ruling African National Congress and has lobbied Mbeki for a power sharing arrangement.

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Zuma would push for a no-confidence vote in parliament if he failed to secure cooperation with Mbeki, ultimately forcing him from office, the Financial Times said Friday.

Ousting Mbeki from office would require a vote to dissolve parliament prompting early elections, or a move to secure a majority no-confidence vote from parliament.

The ANC holds almost 75 percent of the 400 parliamentary seats and aides close to Zuma said collaborative efforts with smaller opposition parties may secure the no-confidence vote.

Supporters of Zuma are pushing for his swift ascendancy to power in the face of corruption charges brought against him concerning a multi-billion dollar arms deal, the Times said.

Mbeki cautioned against the destabilizing effects that Zuma's move might have on the government.

"The people who might be opposing one another in those contests must not see themselves as enemies (afterwards)," Mbeki said.

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Some officials said the believed Zuma would not jeopardize stability, viewing himself to have the support of the public.

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