South Africa elects temporary leader

A former freedom fighter today became South Africa’s president, but he is only expected to serve until a vote next year chooses ANC leader Jacob Zuma as his replacement.

A former freedom fighter today became South Africa’s president, but he is only expected to serve until a vote next year chooses ANC leader Jacob Zuma as his replacement.

South Africa’s Parliament elects the president from among its members and is dominated by the African National Congress.

It favoured former trade unionist and freedom fighter Kgalema Motlanthe with 269 votes to 50 for the main opposition party’s nominee.

Mr Motlanthe replaces Thabo Mbeki, who was removed as South Africa’s president in a power struggle within the governing party.

Mr Motlanthe is seen as a caretaker until elections next year, when Mr Zuma is expected to become an MP, then be chosen by Parliament as president.

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