"Secret ballot is inherently undemocratic"

Professor Steven Friedman says a secret ballot in a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma is inherently undemocratic.

United Democratic Movement (UDM) submitted an application to the ConCourt to allow MPs to vote by secret ballot. Last week President Jacob Zuma and Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete filed a response to this application.

Mbete said she does not have the power to allow a secret ballot, and neither does the Constitution. The President has argued it's highly speculative for the party to suggest that ANC MPs are being intimidated to not vote against him.

Read: A legal debate: Does the Speaker have the power to declare a secret vote

The UDM was given until 4pm on Wednesday to file its reply.

Friedman says the basis of accountability by public representatives to voters is that they should pass their vote in public.

There are some democracies in which people actually set up programmes to monitor how public representatives vote so that citizens can see whether they voting in a way which citizens approve of or not.

Steven Friedman, Academic

If we get to a stage where our public representatives are allowed to vote in secret then they cease to be accountable to us at all.

Steven Friedman, Academic

Click below to listen to the full interview...


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