September 15, 2005

Opposition MPs change to ANC

South African opposition parties were left in surprise as MPs changed sides to the ruling ANC. A constitutional amendment in 2002 allowed legislators to change parties during specific periods following the election, giving MPs from small parties the opportunity to join the ANC under a process called "floor crossing". Opposition leaders have angrily branded the defectors "crosstitutes", accusing them of buttressing the ANC's tight hold on political power. According to ANC chairman Mosiuoa Lekota, the defectors were part of South Africa's democratic transition and reflected a better understanding of both party and government. "The pattern of movement will not always be in the direction as we see at the present time," he said. "At some point it is probable that there will be new centres." (Rts)

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