Francesca R. Dau

South Africa: The loor-Crossing Window

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Representation, Floor-crossing, Party Shifting, Political Parties, South Africa

The paper analyses post-apartheid political representation in South Africa. The 1993 and 1996 democratic Constitutions introduced an "anti-defection" clause. This clause forbids representatives to change party affiliation, i.e. they are bound to the group in Parliament representing the political party that they ran for at the time of the election. As a consequence, representatives who cross the floor are disqualified. However, the peculiarities of the South African political system, which is still in the process of stabilisation after the end of authoritarian rule, have imposed a reconsideration of this rigid discipline. Anti floorcrossing legislation has always been particularly controversial and its constitutionality was challenged before the Constitutional Court. The author's conclusive remarks compare the way parliamentary mandates as regulated in old and new generation democracies and consequentially the implications of imperative mandate.

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