Baleka Mbete in Parliament. Picture: YouTube

In The News South Africa

National Assembly Speaker schedules Zuma no confidence vote for August 3

PARLIAMENT, June 30 – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has scheduled a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma for August 3, Parliament said on Friday.

In a statement, Parliament said Mbete had undertaken consultation with the leader of government business, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, and the African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu, as required by the assembly rules.

“The motion of no confidence must be scheduled, debated and voted on within a reasonable period of time, given the programme of the Assembly,” said Parliament’s spokesman Moloto Mothapo.

“The Speaker has undertaken the consultation as required by the Rules and the decision is for the motion of no confidence to be scheduled for Thursday, 3 August 2017. This will necessitate that the National Assembly sits earlier than initially planned.”

The Assembly had set aside July for MPs to do constituency work, meaning the National Assembly could not sit next month.

Mothapo said the question on whether the Speaker will allow a secret ballot will only be answered at a later stage.

“The matter of whether the vote will be conducted through a secret ballot is receiving consideration. The United Democratic Movement has also asked to meet with the Speaker to discuss the matter of a secret ballot,” he said.

“Mindful that the powers to make a determination regarding voting procedures solely rest with the Speaker, as clarified by the Constitutional Court, the Speaker has invited interested parties to submit their views regarding their preferred means of voting on this particular Motion.”

Earlier this month, the Constitutional Court ruled that Mbete had the power to decide whether the ballot would be secret or not, after opposition parties brought an application motivating for a secret ballot.

Parliament urged parties to make use of Rule 26 which makes provision for the Speaker to canvass the views of office-bearers and structures of Parliament.

“Political parties represented in the National Assembly are requested to make their submissions by 14 July 2017. The Speaker will make her decision whether the motion will be processed through a secret ballot or not before the scheduled debate on 3 August.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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