Secret voting intrudes on openness, transparency – Parliament

2017-04-21 20:12


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Cape Town – A secret ballot in the vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma will intrude on the constitutional values of openness and transparency, the National Assembly says in court papers filed on Friday.

While Speaker Baleka Mbete was not in principle opposed to a secret ballot, there was no provision in the rules for one. 

“In the event that the court finds the [National Assembly’s] rules to be invalid and unconstitutional to the extent that they do not provide for voting through a secret ballot [we ask] that the matter be remitted to the first respondent [Mbete] in order for her to reconsider her decision, or for the House to review and amend the rules,” the court papers reads. 

They were filed in response to the UDM’s application to the Constitutional Court for it to rule on whether the vote against Zuma can take place by secret ballot.

Currently neither the Constitution nor the National Assembly’s rules make provision for a secret ballot in a vote of no confidence.

The UDM argues that the vote should be conducted by secret ballot as the president is elected through secret ballot.

The National Assembly said the UDM has not exhausted internal remedies, such as referring the matter to the rules committee. 

“The committee can deal with a matter falling within its functions and powers on its own initiative or when referred to it for consideration,” the National Assembly said. 

The court’s deadline for submissions was Friday. The court will now decide on a date when the case will be heard. 

At the request of opposition parties, Mbete postponed the vote of no confidence against Zuma, which had been scheduled for this week Tuesday, until after the court delivered a verdict. 

Read more on:    udm  |  politics

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