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South Africa’s President, Ramaphosa Re-Elected For Second Term

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been re-elected for his second term in office.

Ramaphosa returned as a product of collaboration by the leading African National Congress, ANC, with other parties, the first time the party would need such collaboration since 1994 when apartheid gave way to democracy in the country.

Ramaphosa was re-elected late on Friday by lawmakers for a second term, hours after his ANC and the Democratic Alliance agreed to form what has suddenly become popular in South Africa as the Unity Government, making it the first time the otherwise widely divided parties would agree on something.

Ramaphosa won the vote against the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, gathering 283 votes against Malema’s 44.

The process leading to the return of Ramaphosa, which climaxed on Friday when the South African Parliament endorsed him, has thus been an unusual one for the ANC. Seeing after the parliamentary election last month that it lacked the strength to singularly pick the president, the ANC had been reaching out to opposition parties.

This effort yielded fruit only on Friday, June 13, when its biggest rival, the white-led Democratic Alliance, agreed to work on the Government of National Unity with the ANC.

The deal between these otherwise sharply antagonistic parties is seen as a most remarkable change from when Nelson Mandela rode on the ANC to victory in 1994 and since when the party had always produced the subsequent president without sweat.

The ANC lost its electoral majority for the first time in the parliamentary election of May 29, 2024, and has since then been engaged in talks with other parties to work with it to return 

Ramaphosa and to form the multiparty government that has just come to be.

Apart from the DA, at least two smaller parties, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Patriotic Alliance, are taking part in the Unity Government.

In a speech to members of the parliament, 71-year-old Cyril Ramaphosa said he was humbled to be elected again as president.

He commended the DA and the other parties which collaborated to make his return a reality.

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