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African Union Elects First Woman President – She’s Also Jacob Zuma’s Ex-Wife



For the first time ever, the African Union has a woman president: South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will lead the continent-wide body, after defeating incumbent Jean Ping following four rounds of voting.

Senegalese website AfriScoop reports that Dlamini-Zuma, 53, who had been serving South African Minister of Home Affairs and is the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, was elected President of the African Union Commission late Sunday.

Newspapers across Africa on Monday cast the election as largely a competition between the English-speaking and French-speaking nations. There was some bitterness in francophone Gabon, the home country of the defeated Ping, who'd held the post since 2008.

"The summit in Addis Ababa showed the French bloc was divided and indecisive," wrote Info Plus Gabon website: "The headquarters of the African Union were taken over by a large South African delegation, determined to win the seat of President of the African Union Commission."

The vote, some observers noted, raised an ongoing rivalry between continental heavyweights South Africa and Nigeria, as well as worries of the smaller countries about the possible South African control over the 54-nation organization. But Dlamini-Zuma, a longtime anti-apartheid activist who has served as bothe Health and Foreign Minister under previous South African administrations assured that: "South Africa is not going to move to Addis to control the African Union."

For the South African website Business Day, Dlamini-Zuma's election at the head of the African Union represents a ‘political coup" for President Jacob Zuma.

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The Demagogue's Biggest Lie: That We Don't Need Politics

Trashing politics and politicians is a classic tool of populists to seduce angry voters, and take countries into quagmires far worse than the worst years of democracy. It's a dynamic Argentina appears particularly vulnerable to.

Photograph of Javier Gerardo Milei making a speech at the end of his campaign.​

October 18, 2023, Buenos Aires: Javier Gerardo Milei makes a speech at the end of his campaign.

Cristobal Basaure Araya/ZUMA
Rodolfo Terragno


BUENOS AIRES - I was 45 years old when I became a politician in Argentina, and abandoned politics a while back now. In 1987, Raúl Alfonsín, the civilian president who succeeded the Argentine military junta in 1983, named me cabinet minister though I wasn't a member of his party, the Radicals, or any party for that matter. I was a historian, had worked as a lawyer, wrote newspapers articles and a book in 1985 on science and technology with chapters on cybernetics, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.

That book led Alfonsín to ask me to join his government. My belated political career began in fact after I left the ministry and while it proved to be surprisingly lengthy, it is now over. I am currently writing a biography of a molecular biologist and developing a university course on technological perspectives (futurology).

Talking about myself is risky in a piece against 'anti-politics,' or the rejection of party politics. I do so only to make clear that I am writing without a personal interest. I am out of politics, and have never been a member of what Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni calls la casta, "the caste" — i.e., the political establishment.

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