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|South African MPs Re-Elect Mbeki|
Cape Town, April 23, 2004 (BBC) – In a unanimous vote, MPs in Cape Town have elected Thabo Mbeki as president for a second five-year term.
South Africa's ruling African National congress (ANC) won a landslide victory in the 14 April elections and have 270 of the 400 seats in parliament.
Mr. Mbeki who succeeded Nelson Mandela in 1999, will be officially inaugurated as president next week in Pretoria - exactly a decade since apartheid's end.
A carnival atmosphere greeted MPs as they arrived to be sworn in.
Minstrels in painted faces marched to parliament, where a military band played popular tunes.
Three gymnasts also performed a routine with red ribbons and a choir dressed in black and gold sang for members as they filed into the National Assembly.
Thabo Mbeki told MPs his party's success at the polls gave them an even greater sense of responsibility to build on what had already been achieved.
"The fact that our country has done what it has also tells the people that we can do more -- indeed, it would be entirely logical and correct that these masses should expect that we'll even do better than in the past, given the experience we've accumulated over the last decade," he said.
After being sworn in, in batches of 10, MPs elected a new speaker and deputy.
The ANC dropped Frene Ginwala, who had been speaker of the National Assembly for the past 10 years.
She was replaced by her deputy Baleka Mbete, whose post is being filled by Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.
The ANC has already nominated premiers in all nine provinces in South Africa - four are women.
It has pledged to make fighting unemployment and poverty its priority.
It is holding power-sharing talks with the Zulu nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal.
The IFP has ruled the province since 1994 but has little support in other parts of the country.
Earlier this week, the IFP announced it would challenge in court the way complaints about voting irregularities were dealt with.