Reelected Ramaphosa Sworn In as South African President

© AFP 2023 KIM LUDBROOK

In the May 29 elections, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) failed to win a majority, and the party was forced to form a coalition with the Democratic Alliance (DA) and other parties. Last week, lawmakers reelected Cyril Ramaphosa as the head of state.

Reelected South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in on Wednesday, vowing to observe and maintain the basic and all other laws of the republic.

“In the presence of everyone assembled here and in full realization of the high calling I assume as President of the Republic of South Africa, I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, observe, uphold, and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic,” Ramaphosa said during the inauguration ceremony.

Several heads of state, such as Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Angola’s Joao Lourenco, the Republic of the Congo’s Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Eswatini’s King Mswati III, attended the inauguration.

During the ceremony, the president welcomed “the beginning of a new era” as the country sees transformation in its government.

“The formation of a government of national unity is a moment of profound significance. It is the beginning of a new era,” Ramaphosa noted. “The voters of South Africa did not give any single party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realize their aspirations.”

Ramaphosa is expected to announce his cabinet soon as discussions with coalition members continue.

The ANC faced a tough challenge in May’s legislative election from the DA, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of Julius Malema, and the MK party of ex-President Jacob Zuma, who was barred from running by the top court.

The MK party boycotted the ceremony, labeling it a “farce.”

However, Ramaphosa emphasized that voters are “impatient with political bickering” and urged parties to prioritize the “needs and aspirations” of the people and “work together for the country’s sake.”

“We must reject every attempt to divide or distract us, to sow doubt or cynicism, or to turn us against one another,” he said in an apparent, veiled dig at his opponents. As leaders, as political parties, we are called upon to work in partnership towards a growing economy, better jobs, safer communities, and a government that works for its people,” he urged.

According to the official results, the ANC, which won 159 seats, is followed by the DA with 87 parliamentary seats, the MK party with 58 seats, and the EFF party with 39 seats. The remaining parliamentary seats were received by 14 other parties.

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