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date: 03 March 2024


A Dictionary of African Politics

Nic Cheeseman,

Eloïse Bertrand,

Sa’eed Husaini

An English term that is commonly used in *anglophone Africa to refer to the process of politicians switching parties, and hence crossing the floor of the legislature, usually moving from the opposition benches to the government ones, having been co-opted by the ruling party. The term originates in ‘Westminster’ systems of government (i.e. those similar to the British model) in which it is traditional for government and opposition MPs to sit facing one another on different sides of the aisle. Members of parliament leaving one party to join another therefore literally have to cross the floor between the two sets of seats in order to join their new allies.... ...

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