South Africa

Congress of the People

Published 12th May, 2014

The Congress of the People or COPE was founded on 18th December 2008 by former members of the African National Congress (ANC). The party describes itself as Centre-left and believes in Social democracy, Social liberalism and Progressivism.

The party was founded by former ANC members Mosiuoa Lekota, Mbhazima Shilowa and Mluleki George who disagreed with the handling of the dismissal of Thabo Mbeki as president and the installation of President Jacob Zuma. Initially the party picked up a lot of disaffected ANC supporters and in the 2009 general election they were able to win 30 seats in the 400 seat National Assembly.

But COPE had a bad 2014 general election, losing 27 seats and was reduced to just three seats in the 400 seats National Assembly.

The party has indicated that it takes a line that embraces multiracial and multi-cultural participation in government. It has also indicated a willingness to side with the Democratic Alliance (DA) should it ever get close to power.

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