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Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South Africa’s president

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By Chris Harris  with Reuters
Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South Africa’s president
Copyright  REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South Africa has a new president after scandal-hit Jacob Zuma heeded calls by his own party to resign.

Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, was elected to replace Zuma following a parliamentary vote on Thursday.

He faces a number of challenges including winning back public and investor support after his predecessor’s nine-year reign, which was blighted by infighting in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement.

Ramaphosa’s rise to the top post has come after weeks of difficult discussions to convince Zuma to quit.

He had to strike a balance between applying pressure on Zuma, 75, and affording him a dignified exit.

Ramaphosa also had to avoid alienating ANC members still loyal to Zuma, despite dwindling electoral support for the party.