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Ramaphosa to Skip G7 Summit Amid Coalition Talks for National Unity Government

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Ayize claire

Jun 10, 2024

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa prioritizes domestic political negotiations over attending the G7 summit in Italy.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will miss this week's Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy to focus on domestic issues, his spokesperson announced on Monday.

The African National Congress (ANC), Ramaphosa's party, is in urgent talks with various other parties to form a national unity government after losing its majority for the first time since the end of apartheid in last month's election.

Ramaphosa was initially set to attend the G7 summit from June 13-15 at the invitation of Italy, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the G7 and aims to include a broader range of nations beyond the traditional members: the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

However, Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, confirmed that the president will stay in South Africa due to pressing domestic priorities.

Last week, Ramaphosa emphasized the importance of collaborating with other political forces to advance the country.

The ANC is under pressure to swiftly form a coalition, as the new National Assembly will hold its first session on Friday. One of its primary tasks will be electing the next president, with Ramaphosa still expected to secure the position as the ANC remains the largest party.

The ANC will occupy 159 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. The Democratic Alliance, the nearest rival, holds 87 seats, followed by the uMkhonto we Sizwe, led by former president Jacob Zuma, with 58 seats, and the Economic Freedom Fighters with 39 seats.

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