The United Democratic Movement (UDM) and other parties are arguing before the Constitutional Court that Members of Parliament (MPs) should be allowed to vote by secret ballot in a motion of no confidence on President Jacob Zuma.
The Presidency and Speaker are opposing the application saying the secret ballot is only allowed when MPs are voting for the new President.
Lawyer representing the UDM, Advocate Dali Mpofu, has argued that Speaker Baleka Mbete has a constitutional obligation to arrange for a secret ballot and that she has failed to do so.
We are pleading that the Speaker has such an obligation to arrange for secret ballot, and she has failed to discharge it.”— Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing UDM
Mbete has delayed the no-confidence motion until after this case is resolved.
Public law expert and political analyst, Richard Calland, says the UDM has relied on the wording of section 102 of the Constitution, arguing that the word "a vote" should include and make provisions for a secret ballot.
Calland says neither the Constitution nor the rules of the National Assembly provide for a vote of no confidence to be conducted by secret ballot.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Speaker has constitutional obligation to grant secret ballot, argues Dali Mpofu