Former Trade Unionist Elected As SAfrica President

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The South African Parliament has elected a new president to replace Thabo Mbeki, who was ousted in a power struggle within the African National Congress.

Former trade unionist and freedom fighter Kgalema Motlanthe was elected Thursday. Mbeki’s rival Jacob Zuma, who watched from the public gallery, was not eligible for the presidency because he is not a member of parliament.

Motlanthe, one of the few figures in the ANC leadership to have weathered the past year’s vicious political battle, is seen as a caretaker leader until elections next year, when Zuma was expected to become president.

Supporters of Mbeki are threatening to split the ANC and form an opposition party.