Northern Nigerian Breaking News

South Africa’s new parliament meets Friday to elect president

South Africa’s newly elected parliament is to convene for the first time on Friday, authorities said, as political parties scramble to form a coalition after general elections produced no outright winner.

Lawmakers in the 400-seat National Assembly will be called to appoint a speaker and start the process of electing the country’s president — a task that could prove trickier than usual this year.

For the first time since the advent of democracy in 1994, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) lost its absolute parliamentary majority in the May 29 vote.

The party of late anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela won 40 percent of the vote — its lowest-ever score — and now needs the backing of other parties to govern.

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“The first sitting of the National Assembly shall be on Friday, 14 June 2024,” Chief Justice Raymond Zondo wrote in an order released on Monday to the media by the justice ministry.

The ANC has already indicated it wants to form a government of national unity with a broad group of opposition parties, ranging from the far right to the hard left.

The proposal met a cool reception from some last week, with the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) initially dismissing the idea of joining hands with rivals holding radically different political views, such as the centre-right Democratic Alliance (DA).

But talks continued over the weekend and the top leaders of some parties, including the DA, were holding internal discussions on Monday to decide a way forward.

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Meanwhile, former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party — which came third in the election, winning 14.6 percent of the vote and 58 seats — said it was to file a court appeal to prevent the new parliament from convening, pending a separate complaint over alleged election irregularities.

The ANC will have 159 members in the National Assembly, down from 230 in 2019.

The DA won 87 seats with a liberal, free-market agenda.

The EFF secured 39 lawmakers and supports land redistribution and the nationalisation of key economic sectors.



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