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Cyril Ramaphosa Re-elected for Second Term as South African President

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected for a second term on Friday after a dramatic coalition deal with a former political adversary. Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress (ANC), won against Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters with 283 votes to 44 in the 400-member Parliament. The ANC secured Ramaphosa’s re-election through an agreement with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and several smaller parties, following the ANC’s loss of its parliamentary majority in a recent election.

This coalition marks the first time South Africa will be governed without a single-party majority. Ramaphosa praised the agreement as a “new era” for the country, emphasising the need for unity and cooperation among parties. The ANC, historically dominant since the end of apartheid in 1994, faced significant voter discontent over economic issues in the recent election.

The DA, led by John Steenhuisen, confirmed their support for Ramaphosa, who pledged to prioritise national interests over political differences. The coalition also includes the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Patriotic Alliance. Despite the potential for ideological conflicts, particularly over foreign policy issues like the stance on Israel, the coalition aims to address South Africa’s pressing socioeconomic challenges.

The parliamentary session, held at a conference centre due to the National Assembly building’s fire damage, concluded with Ramaphosa’s late-night acceptance speech. The ANC remains open to further coalition talks with other parties, focusing on a multi-party approach to governance.

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