South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected

South Africa: Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected

On Friday, 15th June 2024, South African lawmakers re-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term.

This happened after a surprising coalition of parties came together.

Ending the long dominance of the African National Congress (ANC).

Which had led the country since the days of Nelson Mandela.

Cyril Ramaphosa in the middle

In a historic election on May 29, the ANC got only 40% of the vote.

Inevitably, losing its absolute majority in parliament.

Ramaphosa’s historic win

To keep the country stable, they formed a national unity government with several other parties.

Lawmakers in Cape Town voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Cyril Ramaphosa, who was 71 years old, for another five years.

Ramaphosa smiled and said, “I am humbled and honoured that you, as members of the National Assembly, have decided to elect me to be the President.”

For the first time, the government included different parties like the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party, and others.

Cyril Ramaphosa received 283 votes, while his last-minute challenger.

Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), got only 44 votes.

Ramaphosa’s re-election was celebrated by many.

Including China’s President Xi Jinping, who sent his congratulations.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo opened the first sitting of parliament, where members were sworn in.

In this new government, the ANC’s Thoko Didiza became the speaker, and the DA’s Annelie Lotriet, from South Africa’s white minority, became the deputy speaker.

This power-sharing showed the coalition’s strength.

However, not everyone was happy. The EFF, dressed in red overalls and construction helmets, refused to join the coalition.

Julius Malema called it a deal between the ANC and white monopoly capital, predicting harsh judgment from history.

Former president Jacob Zuma’s new party, uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), also rejected the results and boycotted the session.

Despite these challenges, Ramaphosa, a former trade unionist turned millionaire businessman, promised to unite the diverse government.

His main goal was to achieve rapid and inclusive economic growth.

A difficult task given South Africa’s economic struggles and high unemployment.

“This is not the end of the process, the road ahead will not be easy,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen.

Yet, with hope and determination, Ramaphosa and his coalition aimed to steer South Africa toward a brighter future.

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