In The News South Africa

MPs will cast secret vote on paper ballots

PARLIAMENT, August 8 – MPs will cast paper ballots in the vote on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday afternoon, Parliament has confirmed following Speaker Baleka Mbete’s eleventh-hour decision to allow a secret ballot.

After the debate on the motion of no confidence, the National Assembly will be prepared for voting and then the bells will be rung to call MPs back to cast their votes. The chamber will be locked for voting.

MPs will be called in alphabetic order to collect ballot papers printed with three options – yes, no and abstain – from a voting table.

“Each ballot paper issued will be stamped before being given to a member,” Parliament’s spokesman Moloto Mothapo said.

The names of those who have been issued with ballot papers will be crossed off a control sheet and they will then proceed to one of four ballot boxes in the chamber. Once all members have voted, Mbete will call for the ballot boxes to be sealed.

“The opening slit on the lid of the ballot box (for insertion of ballot papers) will also be sealed after the ballots are cast. The Speaker will request each party to designate one whip or representative to witness the counting process,” Mothapo said.

Counting will then commence in a room monitored by the serjeant-at-arms and the parliamentary protection services.

The Speaker and the party representatives will supervise the process, Parliament said, and the secretary of the National Assembly will sign off the result before handing it to Mbete, who will announce the outcome in the chamber.

-African News Agency (ANA)

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