16 July 2017

South Africa: Majority of Parties Want Secret Ballot for Zuma No-Confidence Vote

Photo: Rogan Ward/Reuters Media Express
President Jacob Zuma (file photo).

Nine out of the 13 parties represented in Parliament have submitted feedback as to how they would like a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be conducted, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said on Sunday.

"Both the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance have indicated they will abide by the Speaker's decision, while the rest of the nine prefer a secret ballot," Mothapo said in a statement.

The parties which submitted their preferences by the Friday deadline included the ANC, DA, Economic Freedom Fighters, Inkatha Freedom Party, National Freedom Party, United Democratic Movement, Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party and Congress of the People.

Mothapo said that the submissions received would be part of a "wide range of factors" that Baleka Mbete would consider in determining whether the motion would be conducted via open or secret ballot.

This follows a Constitutional Court order stipulating that Mbete has the power to decide on a secret ballot.

The debate on the motion of no confidence in Zuma is scheduled for August 8.

On Sunday, the City Press newspaper reported that, in the DA's submission, party leader Mmusi Maimane had written that: "The Constitutional Court was quite explicit that this decision now lies with you as Speaker, and that whatever decision you take must meet the test of rationality.

"In the event that your decision is challenged at a later date, it will be a complicating factor to have asked leaders of parties for their views upfront, when these views will then form part of that later legal challenge," he said.

Opposition parties - the ACDP, APC, Cope, DA, EFF, IFP and UDM - held a joint press conference earlier this month in Pretoria to state that they did not want Mbete to preside over the debate, as she was "patently biased".

At the time, acting ANC caucus spokesperson Nonceba Mhlauli told News24 that the party's stance remained that of chief whip Jackson Mthembu, who has said that the party will not support an opposition-sponsored motion to remove its own president.

Source: News24

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