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Parly gears up to elect new president in wake of Zuma exit

The National Assembly's 400 MPs will vote for the country's new leader under the guidance of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – All eyes will be on the National Assembly when it convenes at 2pm on Thursday.

Jacob Zuma's last-minute resignation on Wednesday night means that the motion of no confidence in him that was supposed to go ahead today falls away.

Instead, the National Assembly's 400 MPs will vote for the country's new leader under the guidance of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The Chief Justice usually presides over the election of a new president and Mogoeng Mogoeng's availability means that Cyril Ramaphosa can be elected today.

Jacob Zuma's resignation has spared African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) from voting with the opposition to oust him.

Ramaphosa must be nominated by two MPs.

Opposition parties can field their own candidates in which case, voting will be by secret ballot.

Once elected, Ramaphosa will be sworn in. It will be up to him to choose his deputy president.

The new president will then deliver his first State of the Nation Address on Friday night.

Parties will debate the address on Monday and Ramaphosa will reply to the debate on Tuesday and the Budget is on Wednesday.