Business news from Ukraine

South African Parliament re-elects Cyril Ramaphosa as President of country

South Africa’s parliament has re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the country after a coalition agreement between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties, the BBC reported on Saturday.

The new national unity government brings together Mr. Ramaphosa’s ANC, the center-right Democratic Alliance (DA) and smaller parties.

In his speech, Mr. Ramaphosa welcomed the new coalition and said voters expected the leaders to “act and work together for the benefit of all the people of our country.”

The National Assembly was in session late into the evening to vote on who would hold power in the new administration. The deal comes after weeks of speculation about who the ANC would partner with after losing its parliamentary majority for the first time in 30 years in last month’s elections.

The ANC won 40% of the vote, while the DA came in second with 22%.

ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula called the coalition agreement “a great step”.

This means that Mr. Ramaphosa, who succeeded Jacob Zuma as president and leader of the ANC after a fierce power struggle in 2018, was able to retain power. Mr. Ramaphosa’s next step will be to distribute positions in the cabinet, which will include members of the DA.

Speaking to lawmakers in Cape Town on Friday, John Steenhuisen, the leader of the DA, said: “Today is a historic day for our country and I think it is the beginning of a new chapter.”

The National Assembly also swore in the speaker of the ANC, and the post of deputy speaker went to the DA.

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French President dissolves parliament

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution of the National Assembly and the scheduling of early parliamentary elections for June 30 and July 7, French newspaper Le Figaro reported.
“I have decided to give you back the choice of your parliamentary future. It is a serious and weighty decision, but above all, it is an act of trust,” Macron said in a video message posted on social network X.
The first round of elections will be held on June 30, with the second round on July 7.
Macron’s list was defeated in the European Parliament elections, taking half as many as the right-wing National Union.
According to Macron, this result “is not a good result for parties defending Europe.” He added that the far-right was gaining popularity everywhere on the continent.
“I cannot act as if nothing has happened….. That is why, having carried out the consultations required by Article 12 of our Constitution, I have decided to once again give you the choice of our parliamentary future by voting. In a few minutes, I will sign a decree calling parliamentary elections to be held on June 30, the first round, and July 7, the second round,” the French leader said.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Singapore

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Singapore to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue conference, which is a key platform for security issues in the Asia-Pacific region and to hold a number of meetings, in particular with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

“Global security is impossible when the world’s largest country ignores recognized borders, international law and the UN Charter, blackmails with hunger, darkness and nuclear weapons,” the president wrote in his Telegram channel.

According to Zelensky, restoring a just peace in Ukraine, ensuring global food and nuclear security is the task of the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland. “That is why it will be important for us to hear the voice of the Asia-Pacific region there,” he said.

According to the head of state, in Singapore he will hold meetings with the president of this state Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta, Singaporean investors, as well as U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

As follows from the agenda of the conference, which this year is being held from May 31 to June 2, the Ukrainian president is scheduled to speak on Sunday, June 2.

Among others, the conference will be attended by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun, French Deputy Chief of Defense Staff Pierre Vandieu, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur. Zelensky will speak as part of a plenary session on solutions for Global Peace and Regional Stability.

According to media reports, Russia will not participate in the current conference.

The Asian Security Summit “Shangri-La Dialogue” is an annual intergovernmental security forum held by the independent think tank “International Institute for Strategic Studies” (IISS), which is attended by defense ministers, permanent heads of ministries and other military leaders of 28 APR states. The forum takes its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, where it has been held since 2002.

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President of Slovak Republic arrives in Kyiv

President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Chaputova arrived in Kyiv on a farewell visit, the press secretary of the Slovak head of state Martin Stryzhynets said, Extra Plus reports.

It is noted that for security reasons, the program of the visit is not reported.

“President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Chaputova arrived in Kyiv on Friday morning on a farewell visit to Ukraine, the press secretary of the head of state Martin Stryzhynets said. The president’s term in office is coming to an end. During her farewell visits, she visits different countries,” the newspaper writes.

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Peter Pellegrini: Russia-friendly populist elected president of Slovakia

Populist Peter Pellegrini has been elected president of Slovakia, replacing liberal Zuzana Kaputova.

Pellegrini, 48, defeated pro-Western Ivan Korc, a former diplomat, with 53% of the vote.

A former prime minister, he is an ally of Prime Minister Robert Fico and shares his dovish attitude toward Russia.

Mr. Fico and his allies now control Slovakia’s parliament, government, and soon the presidency.

Slovakia was one of Ukraine’s most staunch allies before Mr. Fico came to power in October, promising to stop supplying military supplies to the Slovak army in Kyiv. With Mr. Pellegrini’s election to replace Ms. Kaputova, Ukraine finally lost its voice of support in the EU and NATO capitals.

Mr. Fico called for an end to Western military support for Ukraine, an immediate ceasefire and peace talks with Moscow. He said that President Vladimir Putin had recently been “unfairly demonized” and claimed that Ukraine’s acceptance into NATO would mean the start of World War III.

Mr. Pellegrini’s campaign has echoed this Moscow-friendly rhetoric, accusing Mr. Korcok of being a warmonger who would send Slovak soldiers to fight in Ukraine, a constitutional power the president does not have.

On Sunday, Mr. Pellegrini promised to “ensure that Slovakia remains on the side of peace, not on the side of war.”

“You don’t have to worry that the presidential palace, as it has been for the last 10 years, will become the center of an opposition, opportunistic power that will harm the government, that will harm the state abroad and that will rejoice in the failures of the Slovak government,” he said.

After Ms. Kaputova resigns in June, Slovakia, a country that only a year ago handed over its entire fleet of MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine, will no longer have a single high-ranking official who unequivocally supports Kyiv’s efforts to defend its territory by force.

Mr. Korchok expressed his outrage at Pellegrini’s campaign tactics, saying that it was fear that decided the outcome of the election, and “this fear was spread by those who hide in public office.”

He said of the result: “It turns out that it is possible to become president of the Slovak Republic not only by spreading hatred, stirring up passions and pushing people to the barricades, but also by portraying the opposite number, that is, me, as a war candidate. I will not forget this.”

The liberal, pro-Western opposition also accuses Mr. Pellegrini – as head of the coalition Voice party and speaker of parliament – of remaining silent as Mr. Fico destroyed Slovakia’s criminal justice system, in particular by abolishing the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which was created 20 years ago to investigate serious corruption and economic crimes.

It had investigated a number of high-ranking officials from Mr. Fico’s Smer party and overseen the prosecution of those believed to be responsible for the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova.

The murders were a seismic event in Slovak politics. The aftermath ended Mr. Fico’s second term as prime minister in 2018 and led to the election of the liberal, pro-Western Zuzana Kaputova as president, riding a wave of popular anger against official corruption and organized crime.

Robert Fico’s government recently targeted Slovakia’s public broadcaster, submitting plans to eliminate it and replace it with virtual state control. These plans were shelved after Peter Pellegrini’s unexpectedly poor result in the first round of the presidential election two weeks ago.

The opposition fears that a renewed Robert Fico will resubmit them – and they say that President-elect Pellegrini is unlikely to stand in his way.

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South Korea’s incumbent president’s party leads in polls ahead of election

The ruling party of South Korean President Yun Seok-yol “People’s Power” is leading in popularity according to the results of a public poll ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for April, Western media reported citing data from a survey by the Gallup Korea organization.

Thus, according to the survey, about 37% of voters are ready to support the “People’s Power”, while 29% intend to vote for the main opposition Democratic Party. The third most popular among South Koreans is the Korea Innovation Party – it has 12%. This is a new party, it was created by politician Cho Guk, who served as Minister of Justice under President Moon Jae-in.

The poll was conducted by Gallup Korea organization among more than 1 thousand people.

Parliamentary elections in the country are scheduled for April 10.

Earlier, the Experts Club analytical center and Maxim Urakin presented an analytical material on the most important elections in the countries of the world in 2024, more detailed video analysis is available here –

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