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Secret ballot will allow MPs from to vote according to conscience - ATM

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) said that it had gone to court to compel National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to allow a secret ballot for voting on Thursday’s no-confidence motion in President Cyril Ramaphosa.

African Transformation Movement (ATM)'s  Sibusiso Mncwabe. Picture: @ATMovement_SA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The African Transformation Movement (ATM) said that it had gone to court to compel National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to allow a secret ballot for voting on Thursday’s no-confidence motion in President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Modise has twice turned down a request by the party for a secret ballot to be held.

The ATM’s national spokesperson, Sibusiso Mncwabe, said that the party understood that the courts could not dictate on how voting should be done.

"But we are challenging the rationality of the decision of the Speaker in making such a decision."

Mncwabe said that party leaders and their legal representatives were in the judge’s chambers at the Western Cape High Court earlier on Wednesday to see about the possibility of an urgent hearing.

He said that a secret ballot would allow MPs from all parties to vote according to their conscience.

"We need people to exercise democracy freely, without any fear of what would happen after this in their own parties. (It’s) basically to protect parties."

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said that it would abstain from voting tomorrow and so will the Freedom Front Plus. The United Democratic Movement has meanwhile written to Modise saying that it would not participate in the vote unless there was a secret ballot.

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