Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected South African president following coalition deal


Cyril Ramaphosa, 71, was re-elected South Africa’s president for a second term on Friday (June 14), after his African National Congress (ANC) cobbled together an unprecedented coalition government. Lawmakers in Capetown voted overwhelmingly to put Ramaphosa back in office for another five years after the May 29 general election produced no outright winner, a report by the news agency AFP said.

The election marked a historic turning point for the country, ending 30 years of dominance by the ANC. The party won only 40 per cent of the vote and, for the first time, lost its absolute majority in parliament. However, it has now struck a deal to form what it calls a government of national unity.

ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula said on Friday the broad coalition brought together a majority of the 18 parties that won representation in the 400-seat National Assembly.

These included the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA), the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party, and other smaller groups. Ramaphosa was re-elected by fellow MPs with 283 votes in a secret ballot, AFP reported.

He saw off a last-minute challenge by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, whose candidacy gained 44 votes.

“This is not a government of national unity, this is a grand coalition between the ANC and white monopoly capital. History will judge you harshly,” Malema said, after conceding defeat.

‘Humbled and honoured’

In his acceptance speech, Ramaphosa said he was humbled and honoured that members of the National Assembly “decided to elect me to be the President of the Republic of South Africa.”

“This is a historic juncture in the life of our country, which requires that we must work and act together,” he added.

Ramaphosa would be sworn in next week in Pretoria and then unveil his new cabinet. The 71-year-old would preside over a government combining radically different political views.



Source: wionnews

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