South Africa: Ramaphosa Re-elected President After Historic Agreement

Cyril Ramaphosa will still be president of South Africa. Pretoria’s parliament elected him after a historic agreement was reached between his party, the African National Congress (ANC), still in power since 1994 when apartheid ended, and the Democratic Alliance (DA), a liberal party popular with predominantly white voters. The agreement gave Ramaphosa a second mandate with 283 votes.

“It will again be a privilege and a pleasure for me to serve this great nation,” the 71-year-old leader said in his address to parliament, in which he explained that voters expect coalition leaders to work together for the benefit of all South Africans. “The fact that a number of parties that were opposed to each other decided to work together to achieve this goal has given a new birth, a new era to our country,” Ramaphosa concluded.

DA leader John Steenhuisen emphasized: “This is a historic day for our country, I believe it is the beginning of a new chapter… in which we put our country, its interests and its future first.”

In the May 9, 2024 election, the ANC received 40% of the vote and for the first time in 30 years did not have an absolute majority, while the DA was the second force with 22% of the vote. Two smaller groups will also be involved in the government: Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which favors the interests of the Zulu ethnic group, and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance.

The country’s third force, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), led by former president Jacob Zuma, who could not formally run as a candidate but still led the political group and who now claims the election was tainted by fraud, has been excluded from the government.