- Cyril Ramaphosa is the New South African President
South Africa’s 400-member parliament on Thursday elected Cyril Ramaphosa to complete Jacob Zuma’s term due to end in 2019 following series of financial scandals and misconducts.
South Africa’s ruling party, African National Congress had ordered president Jacob Zuma to resign on Tuesday, saying if he refused the order, a no-confidence vote in Parliament, likely to be supported by the opposition will force him out of the office.
With zero party protection, the embattled president finally announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying he was resigning even though he disagreed with the ANC’s decision ordering him to do so.
“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the Republic with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization,” he said at the end of a lengthy address on television. “I have always been a disciplined member of the A.N.C.”
Mr. Zuma trouble started in December when his choice of successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a veteran politician lost to Mr. Ramaphosa by a slight margin.
Party reformers who can’t wait for a new leader devoid of Zuma’s influence, considered Ramaphosa emergence as the new leader a victory. Same as the economy where business confidence had plummeted and investors were uncertain of South Africa’s economic direction under Jacob Zuma’s leadership. Since Ramaphosa victory in December, business confidence has surged significantly, with the Rand gaining against most currencies.
Fighting back, Mr. Zuma’s supporters had argued he should be allowed to complete his term but most party members insisted on early exit, saying Mr. Ramaphosa needs time to rebuild the party and woo back voters that deserted the party, due to Zuma’s corruption allegations, ahead of 2019 national election.