Cyril Ramaphosa takes oath of office for 2nd term as South Africa president


Johannesburg, June 19 (IANS) Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), took the oath of office as the nation’s president for the next five years Wednesday at a ceremony in Pretoria, the administrative capital.

“As the President of the Republic, I will work with everyone to reach out and work with every political party and sector that is willing to contribute to finding solutions to the challenges our country faces as we transition to a new decade of freedom,” Ramaphosa said in his address at the ceremony, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ramaphosa, 71, was reelected as South African president by the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, on June 14, receiving 283 votes. His opponent, Julius Malema from the Economic Freedom Fighters, garnered 44 votes. Under the South African Constitution, once elected by the National Assembly, the president-elect must assume office within five days.

“We will invite all parties, civil society, labor, business, and other formations to a national dialogue on the critical challenges facing the nation. We will seek, as we have done at so many important moments in our history, to forge a social compact to realize the aspirations of our National Development Plan,” said Ramaphosa, emphasising the significance of forming a government of national unity.

In the general elections on May 29, the ANC secured 159 out of the 400 seats in the National Assembly, falling below the 50 percent needed to maintain its 30-year-old outright majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time.

The ANC on Monday announced that a total of five political parties, including the ANC, the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, GOOD and the Patriotic Alliance, have officially signed a statement of intent to participate in the government of national unity.



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