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New South African Parliament to Meet on Friday to Elect President

[Photo Credit: South African Parliament]


The newly elected South African parliament will assemble on Friday, for the first time, to start the process of electing a new president, 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.

The African National Congress (ANC), which has been the ruling party since the end of apartheid, lost its absolute parliamentary majority in a May 29 election and now needs the backing of other parties to govern.

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

Last week, the ANC had said it wanted to form a government of national unity with a broad group of opposition parties, ranging from the far right to the hard left. However, some of the smaller parties have rejected one another and it is now uncertain if any coalition would have been formed by Friday.

The ANC had 40% of the vote and will control 159 of the 400 seats in the new parliament. The Democratic Alliance (DA) will have 87 seats, while the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK), the party of the former president Jacob Zuma will have 58 seats.

The hard-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), will have 39 seats.

Chief Justice Zondo will supervise the swearing-in of the newly elected and reelected members of the National Assembly. Zondo will then preside over the election of the chamber’s speaker, who will in turn oversee the election of the deputy speaker. The Chief Justice will then chair the election by lawmakers of the country’s president.

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