Ramaphosa set for re-election after second-biggest party pledges backing

14 June 2024, 13:14

Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hand
South Africa Politics. Picture: PA

The Democratic Alliance has formally signed a coalition agreement with Mr Ramaphosa’s ANC.

The leader of South Africa’s second-biggest party has said it will back Cyril Ramaphosa for President – almost guaranteeing he will be elected for a second term.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen said his party has now formally signed a coalition agreement with Mr Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC), and part of the agreement stipulates that Mr Ramaphosa will be President.

Legislators are due to elect a president later on Friday and the ANC and DA together have a majority that would see Mr Ramaphosa return for a second term.

If Mr Ramaphosa is the only candidate nominated, he would be elected automatically without the need for a vote.

Mr Steenhuisen said the DA was now preparing to co-govern Africa’s most industrialised economy alongside the ANC and the coalition deal was in place.

Mr Ramaphosa’s ANC has been weakened after losing its long-held majority in an election last month, leaving him needing the support of other parties if he is to return as President.

Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn in as an MP
Mr Ramaphosa was sworn in as a member of Parliament ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country (AP)

The DA – once the ANC’s biggest political foe – will now support Mr Ramaphosa and continue the ANC’s three-decade hold on the presidency.

The ANC announced late on Thursday that it had a coalition agreement in principle with the DA and other smaller parties.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula said the final details of the agreement were still being worked out. The DA, the second largest party in Parliament behind the ANC with a potentially decisive number of legislators, said talks on the details had continued through the night and into early Friday, just before Parliament convened at 10am.

The final deal was signed during a break in the Parliamentary sitting, South African media reported. Two other smaller parties will also be part of the governing coalition.

The 71-year-old Mr Ramaphosa will be re-elected automatically if no other candidates are nominated for president. No-one else has so far been put forward, though lawmakers can nominate a candidate during Friday’s Parliament session, the first since the landmark May 29 national election.

Mr Ramaphosa smiled and shook hands with members of his party as he arrived before taking his seat.

By Press Association

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