South African lawmakers on Wednesday re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the nation’s president. He was elected two weeks after the African National Congress party returned to power in the legislative elections, AFP reported.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng told the Parliament that Ramaposa has been “duly elected president of the Republic of South Africa” after only his name was nominated by the lawmakers in Cape Town.
“The people have spoken,” Ramaphosa tweeted on Wednesday. “We have a clear mandate. Let’s get to work.” He will be sworn in on Saturday.
On May 8, Members of Parliament, belonging to the ANC, won 230 out of the 400 seats. With 57.5% of the votes, the ANC won the ballot – it’s thinnest majority since the end of Apartheid, according to AFP.
The party’s vote share plunged due to anger at corruption scandals and inequalities in terms of race that continue to plague years after the party came to power, Reuters reported.
The lawmakers chose Ramaphosa as the country’s president in the first session after the elections. He will choose his deputy and cabinet members over the weekend.
South Africa’s Constitution mandates that voters choose a party, which selects the individuals who go to the National Assembly. These lawmakers then go on to choose the head of the state.
On February 14, Ramaphosa was declared the president of South Africa, a day after former president Jacob Zuma stepped down. He was the deputy president in the Zuma-led government and was expected to take charge.
Zuma resigned amid mounting pressure from the ANC. A no-confidence motion was set to be moved against him in the Parliament. He had been accused of siphoning government money to build a luxurious home.
The 66-year-old president is a trade unionist, who was closely involved in the struggle against white minority rule. After the end of Apartheid, he became a successful businessman.
In December 2017, Ramaphosa took charge of the ruling ANC party.