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UDM leader hopes Mbete will consider parties’ views over secret ballot vote

Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mbete has the jurisdiction to decide whether to hold a secret ballot for a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma.

FILE: UDM leader Bantu Holomisa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says he hopes National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete will weigh the views of the public and political parties when deciding on how the vote in the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be held.

The Speaker’s office has confirmed receipt of submissions from nine of the 13 parties.

Mbete will announce her decision before the vote on 8 August.

Holomisa says they will accept her decision.

“She should just do an honourable thing and follow the will of the majority parties, the number of parties which are for this.”

Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that 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.

WATCH: Opposition parties call for secret no confidence ballot

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)