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Côte d’Ivoire’s Ouattara seeks third term, forcing collapse of unity talks

President Alasanne Outtara’s decision to seek a third term in office may have forced a collapse of merger talks with the country’s other leading political party, PDCI, led by ex-President Henri Konan Bédié’

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President Alasanne Outtara’s decision to seek a third term in office may have forced a collapse of merger talks with the country’s other leading political party, PDCI, led by ex-President Henri Konan Bédié’.

PDCI now says it will field a candidate in the 2020 presidential election.

The long-standing alliance between two of Côte d’Ivoire’s largest political parties, the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire, PDCI, of former President Henri Konan Bédié and the Rally of Democrats, RDR of current Head of State Alasanne Dramane Ouattara, now hangs in the balance.

This followed a June 16, 2018 meeting by over 600 PDCI executive members who resolved to postpone merger talks with RDR until after the 2020 presidential election, Radio France International, RFI reported on June 18, 2018.

The political bureau members said it was PDCI’s turn to field a candidate in the next presidential poll after supporting RDR’s Alassane Ouattara in 2010 and 2015. After six hours of discussions, PDCI executive members approved the deal to merge PDCI with RDR and other smaller parties, but did not fix any party congress this year to seal the agreement before elections in 2020.

“The political bureau decides to postpone the 13th PDCI/RDA congress until after the 2020 presidential election. The political bureau reassures party members and supporters of the party’s determination to reconquer power in 2020,” N’Dri Kouadio Narcisse, PDCI spokesman told the press.

“The question of party merger will be discussed after PDCI takes over power in 2020 and we are so happy with the decision,” commented a young party supporter.

Observers say the PDCI’s sudden change of mind is a response to a statement earlier this month by President Alassane Ouattara. In an interview with French language weekly, Jeune Afrique on June 3, 2018, Ouattara said he was free to stand for a third term in 2020 under the new constitution. “I will only make a definite decision then, based on the situation in Ivory Coast. Stability and peace come before all else, including my principles,” he said.

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5 parties now part of South Africa’s unity government— ANC

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has announced that negotiations with other parties are still underway as the party forms a government with five opposition parties.

The ANC was obliged to form coalitions with other political parties after last month’s election because it was unable to secure a parliamentary majority for the first time since the 1994 election that brought an end to apartheid.

The Democratic Alliance, led by white people and supportive of business, supported ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa in his reelection as president of South Africa’s parliament on Friday. Two smaller parties, the right-wing Patriotic Alliance and the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party, also supported the party.

The ANC said on Monday that GOOD, a smaller party, has also committed to join the unity government agreement. According to an ANC statement, this group holds 273 seats in the National Assembly or 68% of the total.

South Africa’s 400 seats make up its parliament. The IFP has 17 seats, the PA has 9 seats, the DA is the second-largest party with 87 seats, the ANC has 159 seats, and GOOD has one seat. According to the ANC, the unity government would guarantee that all involved parties had representation in government and would reach decisions by consensus.

The ANC stated that the unity government will prioritize land reform, infrastructure development, job creation, fixed capital investment promotion, and quick, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth.

“The president will exercise the prerogative to appoint the cabinet, in consultation with leaders of GNU (government of national unity) parties, adhering to existing protocols on government decision-making and budgeting,” the ANC said, adding it was still in discussions with more parties to join the government.

With 39 seats, the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters party has declared that it will not serve in a government with the Democratic Alliance (DA) or the Freedom Front Plus, two organizations that receive support from the white minority.

The former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe party is likewise not a member of the unity government. With 58 seats in the National Assembly, it has declared that it will join the EFF and the center-left United Democratic Movement in the “Progressive Caucus,” a group of minor opposition parties in parliament.

The unity government will face official resistance from this alliance.

“With populist parties choosing to reject the GNU, and the ANC’s bigger partners in the governing coalition centre-leaning and favouring more liberal economic policies, we think the GNU opens the possibility for more growth-friendly structural reforms and prudent macroeconomic policy choices,” HSBC economist David Faulkner said in a note.

“But the GNU could also face ideological divisions and exacerbate fractures within the ANC, factors that could make establishing a stable policy framework difficult.”

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South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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