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South Africa parliament to hold inaugural session, elect President

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa meets senior ANC officials during a meeting of the ANC National Executive Committee in a Cape Town hotel on Thursday 13 June 2024   -  
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Jerome Delay/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

South Africa

Lawmakers were expected to elect the country's president Friday after being sworn in at the first sitting of Parliament.

The lawmakers are also expected to elect Parliament's new speaker and deputy speaker, choices that will be determined by negotiations that have taken place between the ANC and opposition parties since the country's election results were declared nearly two weeks ago.

Parties are under pressure to conclude negotiations by Thursday to fulfill the constitutional requirement to swear in lawmakers and elect the president within 14 days of election results being declared.

The African National Congress won 40% of the national vote during the country's highly contested election, followed by the Democratic Alliance, or DA, with just over 21% and the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe Party with about 15% of the vote in their first-ever election.

The ANC has opted to form a national unity government that will include most political parties that contested the election instead of a straightforward coalition with a few parties.

The South African Constitution says only one-third of Parliament’s 400 lawmakers need to be present for a quorum and for the vote to elect the president to proceed.

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