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Zuma’s MK party is trying to prevent a new South African parliament from convening

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party has filed an application with the constitutional court to try to block the first session of the National Assembly since last month’s elections, it said Tuesday.

South Africa’s newly elected parliament will meet on Friday for the swearing-in of lawmakers and elections for the speaker and deputy speaker, as well as the country’s president.

Zuma’s MK party won a surprisingly strong third place in the May 29 elections, but claims there was election fraud and threatened to boycott the new parliament.

The Independent Electoral Commission and other parties said the elections were free and fair, and that South Africa has no history of significant voter fraud.

In the elections, the African National Congress (ANC), traditionally Zuma’s political home, lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since it came to power after the end of apartheid thirty years ago.

The ANC is now negotiating with potential partners, ranging from Marxists to free marketers, to set up a government of national unity.

(Reporting by Tannur Anders and Alexander WinningEditing by Estelle Shirbon)

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