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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected as South Africa’s President Amidst Historic Coalition

South Africa’s parliament has re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s president following an unprecedented coalition deal between the governing African National Congress (ANC) and several opposition parties. 

This new government of national unity brings together Ramaphosa’s ANC, the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA), and smaller parties, marking a significant shift in the nation’s political landscape.

In his victory speech, President Ramaphosa praised the new coalition, emphasising the electorate’s expectation for leaders to “act and to work together for the good of everyone in our country.” The coalition agreement was finalised amidst a day of high political drama, with the National Assembly convening late into the evening to vote on the new administration’s composition.

The landmark coalition deal was struck after weeks of speculation over the ANC’s potential partners following its loss of a parliamentary majority for the first time in three decades in last month’s elections. The ANC secured 40% of the vote, while the DA came in second with 22%.

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula described the coalition agreement as a “remarkable step,” which enabled Ramaphosa—who succeeded Jacob Zuma as both president and ANC leader after a tumultuous power struggle in 2018—to retain his position.

The next crucial task for President Ramaphosa is to allocate cabinet positions, which will include members of the DA. The coalition does not involve two ANC breakaway parties, who stand to benefit politically if the coalition fails to deliver the economic improvements demanded by voters.

Despite the challenges ahead, opinion polls indicate that many South Africans are hopeful for the success of this unprecedented grand coalition, viewing it as a potential catalyst for positive change and stability in the country’s governance.

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