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Zuma at the U.N. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The walls are closing in around South African President Jacob Zuma, who is refusing calls from his own party to resign and is now expected to face, and lose, a vote of no confidence on Thursday if he doesn’t step down before then.

The big picture: Zuma, 75, is a political survivor. He has been dogged by corruption allegations since before he became president in 2009, and multiple no confidence votes have failed during his tenure. The difference this time is that his own party has fully abandoned him.

The latest: Zuma gave a lengthy, defiant TV address earlier today, claiming he is a victim of an “unfair” process and there should be no “hurry” to force him out immediately. He says he’s willing to step down in June after a transition process, a suggestion his party finds unacceptable.

  • Zuma will reportedly make another statement about his future this evening.

The most recent allegations: Zuma is accused of steering government contracts to two wealthy Indian-born brothers, the Guptas, and enriching himself in the process. A villa belonging to one of the brothers was raided Wednesday by anti-corruption police.

What’s next: Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president and head of the ruling ANC party, is expected to be elected president by parliament and sworn in on Friday.

Go deeper: Meet Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president-in-waiting

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.