Union group backs Ramaphosa to suc­ceed Zuma

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

South Africa’s Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa saw his chances of be­com­ing the coun­try’s next leader in­crease yes­ter­day when a pow­er­ful union group backed him to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma as head of the rul­ing party.

Zuma is ex­pected to stand down as African Na­tional Congress pres­i­dent at a party con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber next year, ahead of na­tional elec­tions in 2019 when his ten­ure as Pres­i­dent will end.

The de­bate over who should fol­low Zuma has heated up since the ANC suf­fered its worst lo­cal elec­tion re­sults in Au­gust, ex­pos­ing party di­vi­sions.

The ANC’s dom­i­nance of South Africa since apartheid ended in 1994 means it is widely ex­pected to win the 2019 elec­tion, mak­ing its next leader al­most cer­tain to be­come Pres­i­dent.

No one has de­clared an am­bi­tion to run but in­for­mal po­si­tion­ing is well un­der way, with the ANC split be­tween back­ers of Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid leader pop­u­lar with in­vestors, and those who feel he would be too pro-busi­ness.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions , a mem­ber of the rul­ing po­lit­i­cal al­liance that claims to rep­re­sent 1.8 mil­lion work­ers, told re­porters it had “re­solved to cam­paign” for Ramaphosa ahead of the party con­fer­ence.

/REUTERS

South Africa’s Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa at an elec­tion rally of the ANC in Port El­iz­a­beth, South Africa, on April 16

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