S. African Parliament Elects Zuma

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 10:03 AM CDT
South African Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel, right, talks with member of parliament Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The South African parliament elected Jacob Zuma president today, and the country’s new leader will be inaugurated on Saturday, Reuters reports. Zuma’s ANC routed the opposition in last month’s election, and today’s election was expected. The new president will name a cabinet on Sunday; international watchers hope that respected Finance Minister Trevor Manuel will stay on to provide continuity.

The new government will likely maintain conservative fiscal policies in light of the global economic crisis. That move would also assuage investors who fear that Zuma would take the country’s economy in a more liberal direction. “He is a capable leader that epitomizes our continued and resilient struggle against the worst that humanity has to offer,” said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela, in her nominating speech.