UDM Serves Papers Calling For Secret No Confidence Vote In Zuma

The party wants the ballot on 18 April to be carried out in secret.
Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Parliament says it has been served with papers by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) seeking direct access to the Constitutional Court for a secret ballot on the upcoming motion of no confidence in the president.

Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, announced on Wednesday that a debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma will be held on 18 April, following several letters from opposition parties.

"After this announcement, on April 6, the Speaker received a letter of demand from attorneys representing the UDM for a vote of no confidence in the president to be done by a way of a secret ballot," a Parliamentary statement said on Monday.

"Voting procedures in the assembly are determined by the Constitution and the rules of the assembly.

"Neither the Constitution nor the rules of the assembly provide for a vote of no confidence to be conducted by secret ballot, and the Speaker has no authority in law to alter such provisions."

In 2015, the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application which sought to force the National Assembly to vote on a motion of no confidence by secret ballot, the statement continued.

The court ruled that there was no implied or express constitutional requirement for voting by secret ballot in motions of no confidence in the president.

Parliament said it will respond to the court papers.


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