ANC says no confidence motion will fail – secret ballot or not

Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete had earlier said that she did not have the authority to prescribe a secret ballot.
Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete had earlier said that she did not have the authority to prescribe a secret ballot. Image: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE
The African National Congress (ANC) said on Thursday that a vote on a motion of no confidence in the president‚ even if conducted by secret ballot‚ would fail.
The party was reacting to a ruling by the Constitutional Court earlier in the day which found that a secret ballot was permissible.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) approached the court last month‚ asking it to order that the vote be conducted by secret ballot. Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete had earlier said that she did not have the authority to prescribe a secret ballot.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said in a statement on Thursday that the party welcomed the court ruling on what it believed was a “frivolous and vexatious application” which sought to call on the Constitutional Court to disregard the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and direct the National Assembly Speaker how to direct the business of Parliament.

“As the final arbiters in any contested manner‚ the Court has clarified that the Speaker may decide on a secret ballot. The clarification is welcome. The Court however will not decide for the Speaker‚ the Head of another arm of State‚ as to how she exercises her discretion despite the mischievous and adventurous exercise of the UDM to force this point. We are confident that the Speaker will apply her mind to the decision before her and we will respect the decision taken in this regard.”

He added that regardless of whether a secret ballot was granted or not‚ “this motion of no confidence – like countless others before it – is nothing but an exercise in political posturing and is condemned to failure”.

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