Mbete receives submission from 9 political parties over secret ballot vote
Nine political parties have expressed their views on how they would prefer the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to proceed.
CAPE TOWN – Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbete says she has received submissions from nine out of the 13 political parties represented in the National Assembly’s on the secret ballot matter.
The parties had until close of business on Friday to inform Mbete of their views regarding the voting procedure to be followed during the vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma next month.
Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled, Mbete has the jurisdiction to decide whether to hold a secret ballot for a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.
Nine political parties have expressed their views on how they would prefer the motion of no confidence in Zuma to proceed.
The Speaker’s office says seven parties have requested for the process to be conducted in secret, while the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have indicated they will abide by Mbete’s decision.
She says she will make an announcement on she will proceed before the scheduled motion on 8 August.
Some opposition parties have indicated they have requested Mbete to recuse herself from presiding over the debate saying she lacks impartiality.
CALLS FOR MBETE TO DO RIGHT THING
The parties say they won’t allow her to take a decision that does not comply with last month's Constitutional Court ruling.
They argue that as a presidential hopeful, she has a vested interest in the outcome of the debate and has shown herself to be biased towards Zuma on numerous occasions.
In its submission, the United Democratic Movement reiterates arguments put before the Constitutional Court for a secret ballot.
The DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Mbete’s decision must be in line with this ruling.
“Whatever decision she makes, she's going to have to have very valid reasons for how she's arrived at that decision. The Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng made it abundantly clear that that decision must be a rational decision.”
Parliamentary Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Mbete will be thoroughly going through the submissions made by political parties before making a decision on a secret ballot.
“The Speaker will then consider those submissions, as well as a variety of other factors that she has to consider in order to arrive at a decision, and the decision will then be made before the 8th of August.”
Moloto said the Speaker's office has not received a formal request for her to recuse herself from presiding over the debate, following a call by opposition parties on Thursday that Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli chair the sitting instead.
“But the arrangement in terms of the rules in terms of how the house must conduct such a matter remains.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)