In The News South Africa

UDM Concourt application for secret ballot to be heard on May 15

“Parliament has received further directions from the Constitutional Court regarding the application from the United Democratic Movement (UDM) for a secret ballot in the motion of no confidence in the President,” the national legislature said in a statement.”

“The directions state that the application is set down for hearing by the Constitutional Court on Monday, 15 May at 10.00.”

Parliament has until next Friday to file written submissions responding to papers filed by those who had applied to join the UDM case as friends of the Court. They are the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, Unemployed People’s Movement, Institute for Security Studies and Shosholoza Progressive Party.

In National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s heads of argument responding to the UDM’s case filed two weeks ago, she insists she was not opposed to the idea of a secret ballot.

Mbete argued that the rules of Parliament did not provide for a secret ballot.

The Constitutional Court was asked by the United Democratic Movement to rule that the Constitution obliged, or alternatively permitted, MPs to cast a secret ballot when voting on a motion of no confidence.

The UDM filed the application after the Democratic Alliance tabled its fifth motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma after he reshuffled the Cabinet at the end of March and removed Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

A debate on the motion was scheduled for April 18, but postponed pending the outcome of the court application.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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