DA: Parly Speaker has powers to halt no confidence debate until ConCourt ruling

The DA maintains that it wants to postpone, rather than withdraw, the motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

No one has asked for the withdrawal of the motion.

John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament

The UDM and EFF requested that the debate scheduled for Tuesday 18 April be postponed to allow a Constitutional Court bid for a secret vote to unfold on 21 April.

Read: ConCourt considers UDM application for secret no confidence vote

But National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said she could only consider a request made by DA to withdraw the motion, as it was tabled by its leader Mmusi Maimane.

Also read: Mbete refuses secret ballot for Zuma no confidence vote

DA's chief whip John Steenhuisen is disputing Mbete's interpretation of the rules, explaining that Mbete has the powers to put the debate on hold.

That's not how we understand it. This motion is very different to the other business of Parliament.

John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament

Section 1295 of the rule book gives the Speaker the sole discretion to schedule this motion for discussion. Therefore, by implication, she has the power to re-schedule it.

John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament

Steenhuisen says it would be wise and respectful of Parliament if it postponed the no confidence debate until such time that the ConCourt has given direction or judgment in the matter.

We believe that ploughing ahead with the debate, while the Constitutional Court is still applying itself to the UDM matter would be unwise and disrespectful to the ConCourt.

John Steenhuisen, DA's Chief Whip in Parliament

Steenhuisen about the potential outcomes of the ConCourt bid and responded to apparent comments made by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma criticising opposition parties for relying on the judicial system.

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : DA: Parly Speaker has powers to halt no confidence debate until ConCourt ruling


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