South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) is preparing to choose a new party leader to succeed President Jacob Zuma, according to a BBC report.
The main candidates are the current deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Zuma’s ex-wife.
As ANC still remains South Africa’s most dominant party, whoever wins is likely to succeed Mr Zuma as South African president.
Bitter leadership battle, however, has raised fears that the ANC could split before national elections in 2019.
President Zuma can remain head of state until those elections. He has been in office since 2009 and South Africa limits the presidency to two five-year terms.
As delegates gathered for the four-day conference in Johannesburg, Mr Zuma, who faces multiple corruption allegations, has urged the party to unite behind the eventual winner.
The leadership contest is expected to be a close one, with legal challenges a possibility.