President Kgalema Motlanthe has announced parliamentary elections on April 22. The African National Congress has dominated South Africa's political scene since the end of apartheid in 1994. However, the Congress of the People (COPE), a new party founded to cater to dissident ANC supporters, is for the first time providing serious competition. COPE could threaten the ANC's two-thirds parliamentary majority. After the poll, the new MPs will go on to choose a new president, expected to be ANC leader Jacob Zuma. His opponents fear that corruption charges against him will be dropped if he does become president. A decision on whether he is to face trial is due on Aug. 25. (Radio Netherlands)

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