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Members of Parliament are entitled to vote according to their conscience: EFF #Ngcukaitobi #SecretBallot

Ngcukaitobi was making submissions in an application by the UDM to the Constitutional Court on Monday asking it to order that a parliamentary vote on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma be conducted by secret ballot.

The UDM relies on Section 102 (2) of the constitution.

The section states that if the National Assembly‚ by a vote supported by a majority of its members‚ passes a motion of no confidence in the president‚ the president and the other members of the Cabinet must resign.

“Any member of Parliament may vote on any topic according to their personal conscience‚” said Ngcukaitobi‚ arguing for the Economic Freedom Fighters.

He argued that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is mistaken to say that she has no discretion to decide on a secret ballot.

“The duty of MPs is pronounced in holding the executive accountable‚ particularly where you are a member of the majority party.”

He argued that the most logical way that promotes the value of personal conscience is to allow a secret ballot.

“No motion of no confidence can take place without a secret ballot‚” Ngcukaitobi contended.

Anton Katz for the IFP argued that the separation of powers is at the heart of the application.

“Separation of powers requires parliament to oversee the executive.”

He argued that the court should deal with all motions of no confidence as a matter of principle.

“Our sword is the motion of no confidence. That motion should have teeth.

“It would be absurd to have a secret ballot when it comes to electing a president and not when voting to remove him,” Katz said.

He told the court that the IFP has for many years complained about the motion of no confidence not being conducted by way of a secret ballot.

“The IFP has been motivating for many years for a secret ballot.”


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