March 8, 2004

ANC not planning to change the constitution, says Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki has broken his silence on claims that the African National Congress (ANC) plans to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term. Mbeki said there was no truth in the accusations by the Democratic Alliance that the ANC planned to change the constitution to allow the president and provincial premiers to serve third terms of office. While opposition parties have been campaigning on the issue of a country dominated by one party the ANC and the third-term issue, Mbeki has until now left it to ANC officials to comment on the third-term matter. In his weekly letter on the ANC website, Mbeki said the opposition was using scare tactics to frighten the electorate. "A recent one was that the ANC intends to change the constitution to enable the president, and presumably the premiers, to hold office for a third term, contrary to the two terms prescribed in our constitution. "So desperate are those who resort to this kind of falsification that they did not hesitate to misuse (former president) Nelson Mandela's name to lend credibility to their claims." (Business Day, Johannesburg)

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