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UDM accuses Baleka Mbete of failing in her duty to arrange a secret ballot

Advocate Dali Mpofu argues that National Assembly rules 103 and 104 are clear that Mbete has the discretion to determine the voting procedure.

Speaker Baleka Mbete in Parliament during a question and answer session by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on 19 November 2014. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has accused National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete of failing in her duty to arrange a secret ballot insisting the method of voting is constitutionally permissible.

The party presented its argument in the Constitutional Court earlier today.

It wants the court to give Parliament the green light to hold a secret vote on a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma, but the Mbete argues that the rules of Parliament make no such provision.

Representing the UDM, advocate Dali Mpofu argues that the National Assembly rules 103 and 104 are clear, that the speaker has the discretion to determine the voting procedure to be followed for any vote.

“She has an obligation to choose a voting method when asked to do so, she has abdicated to do so.”

He says the crux of their case is about the obligation of Parliament to hold the executive accountable, which he says, becomes effective from the minute Members of Parliament are sworn in.

“The motion of no confidence itself can be viewed as an obligation, except it’s now an obligation on the president.”

The party also argues that the only method that can prevent intimidation is the secret ballot adding that the same consideration for allowing this method in electing a president must apply for his or her removal.

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