South Africa’s Parliament Re-Elect Cyril Ramaphosa As President

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South Africa’s parliament on Friday re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s president after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) struck a coalition deal with the opposition parties to form a new government of national unity.

The new government of national unity comprises Ramaphosa’s ANC, the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller parties.

In his victory speech, Ramaphosa hailed the new coalition, saying voters expected the leaders “to act and to work together for the good of everyone in our country”.

The agreement was hashed out on a day of high political drama, which saw the National Assembly sitting late into the evening for votes to confirm who would hold power in the new administration.

Earlier, a deal was struck following weeks of speculation about whom the ANC would partner with after losing its parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years in last month’s elections.

The ANC got 40% of the vote, while the DA came second with 22%. ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula called the coalition deal a “remarkable step”.

The re-election of Ramaphosa who replaced Jacob Zuma as both president and ANC leader following a bitter power struggle in 2018 was able to retain power.

The next step is for Ramaphosa to allocate cabinet positions, which will include members of the DA.

The multi-party deal does not involve two ANC breakaway parties, and they will probably benefit if it fails to deliver the economic improvements demanded by voters.