South Africa’s far-left Economic Freedom Fighters party leader Julius Malema said on Thursday his party will not take part in the election of new president so as not to legitimise a candidate put forward by the ruling ANC.

“The EFF will not participate in the election of a new president to replace Zuma because we do not want to legitimise anyone from the ruling party,” Malema said.

He said his party wanted early national elections.

Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to be confirmed as Jacob Zuma’s permanent successor in a parliamentary vote later on Thursday.

Speaker of South Africa’s parliament, Baleka Mbete, said she received a letter from Jacob Zuma informing her of his resignation as president.

Zuma told the nation late on Wednesday that he was standing down after being instructed to do so by the ruling party, the African National Congress.

Mbete’s office also said that the finance minister was scheduled to deliver a budget speech at 1400 local time (1200 GMT) on Feb. 21, as planned.


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