South African President Thabo Mbeki has agreed to resign following orders from the ruling party. A statement from the presidency says that Mbeki, who succeeded Nelson Mandela in 1999, will "step down after all constitutional requirements have been met." Parliament is due to meet in the coming days to formalize the resignation procedure and is likely to appoint the parliamentary speaker as acting head of state.
The African National Congress' top-level panel decided today to recall Mbeki before the end of his term next year because of a power struggle with party boss Jacob Zuma. The move follows a judge's ruling that Mbeki may have had a role in Zuma being charged with corruption. Despite his 9 years at the top, Mbeki never managed to win the hearts of the masses because of his aloof, academic manner. He drew scorn in the international community for failing to accept the causes and scope of the AIDS crisis.