South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Forms New Government After ANC Loses Majority

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the formation of his new government after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) lost its outright parliamentary majority. The ANC retained 20 out of 32 cabinet positions, including key ministries such as foreign affairs, finance, defense, justice, and police. Former opposition parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance, and Freedom-Front Plus, secured a total of 12 portfolios. The largest coalition partner, the DA, will hold six portfolios, with DA leader John Steenhuisen appointed as Minister of Agriculture.

Ramaphosa, speaking from Pretoria in a televised speech, described the establishment of the Government of National Unity (GNU) as unprecedented in the country’s history. The incoming government aims to prioritize rapid, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, as well as addressing poverty, inequality, and unemployment. The formation of the GNU follows weeks of negotiations between the ANC and the DA, which won 87 parliamentary seats in the May 29 general election.

The building of the new government has faced criticism from leftist parties, including the uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, formed by former president Jacob Zuma. The MK party, along with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), refused to join the ANC’s broad coalition with the DA, labeling it a “white-led unholy alliance.” The EFF criticized the GNU as a “smokescreen” for the ANC to secure a predetermined grand coalition with the DA.

Ramaphosa has called for the opening of the new parliament on July 18 to address MPs and outline the guidelines for his coalition government, which involves 11 parties. The ANC’s loss of majority came amidst challenges such as high violent crime rates, a struggling economy, and an energy crisis.

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