South Africa’s parliament set to elect Ramaphosa president

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May 23, 2019-

CAPE TOWN: South African lawmakers were set to re-elect Cyril Ramaphosa as the nation’s president on Wednesday, two weeks after the ANC returned to power in legislative elections. MPs from the African National Congress, which won 230 out of 400 seats on May 8, will choose the head of state in the parliament’s first post-election sitting. The ANC won the ballot with 57.5 percent of the vote, its thinnest majority since the end of apartheid. Lawmakers were sworn in before the maiden session starting at 2.00 p.m. (1200 GMT). The next president will be sworn in on Saturday and name a deputy president and cabinet at the weekend. Under South Africa’s 1996 constitution, electors vote for a party, and the party selects individuals who go to the National Assembly, which then chooses the head of state. Ramaphosa, 66, is a trade unionist who played a prominent part in the struggle against white minority rule before becoming a successful business after the end of apartheid. He will be serving his first full five-year term since taking over last year from Jacob Zuma who was forced out over a series of corruption scandals. Ramaphosa’s first test as he starts his new term will be his choice of a cabinet—a task beset by rival factions within the ANC. Prospects of a major reshuffle were heightened hours before Ramaphosa’s expected return to office, when Deputy President David Mabuza announced he would defer taking his oath as a lawmaker.

Published: 23-05-2019 10:07

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