July 23, 2024
Home » Ramaphosa secures second term amid historic coalition deal in South Africa

Ramaphosa secures second term amid historic coalition deal in South Africa


In a landmark political development, Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as South Africa’s President on Friday, following an unprecedented coalition agreement.

The coalition was crucial for the African National Congress (ANC) to maintain power after a tightly contested general election on May 29 that failed to produce a clear winner.

Parliamentarians in Cape Town voted resoundingly in favor of Ramaphosa, 71, granting him 283 votes in a secret ballot. His main rival, Julius Malema, the outspoken leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), received only 44 votes. Ramaphosa is set to be sworn in next week in Pretoria, where he will announce his new cabinet.

The parliamentary session, held in a convention center due to ongoing reconstruction of the parliament building damaged by a fire in 2022, began with the swearing-in of MPs.

Thoko Didiza of the ANC was elected as the speaker, while Annelie Lotriet of the Democratic Alliance (DA) was chosen as the deputy speaker, signaling the effectiveness of the power-sharing agreement.

EFF MPs, known for their distinctive red overalls and hard hats, took their oath but abstained from supporting the new administration. Malema criticized the coalition, describing it as an alliance between the ANC and “white monopoly capital,” and predicted that history would judge the coalition harshly.

In a dramatic twist, former President Jacob Zuma’s newly formed party, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), which finished third in the election, contested the results and boycotted the session. MK spokesman Nhlamulo Ndhlela declared the proceedings “illegal and unconstitutional.”

Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader turned successful businessman, now leads a government composed of parties with starkly contrasting ideologies.

The ANC’s progressive, pan-Africanist policies will be balanced with the DA’s liberal, free-market stance, alongside smaller parties spanning the political spectrum from left to right.

DA leader John Steenhuisen emphasized the coalition’s commitment to upholding the constitution and the rule of law, marking the beginning of a unique era in South African politics.

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