Court could intervene in Parly rules to protect motion of no confidence- analyst

The Constitutional Court will hear arguments from parties involved in the case brought by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) for Members of Parliament (MPs) to be allowed to vote by secret ballot in motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

Parliament has said the Speaker has no powers to decide if a motion of no confidence vote should be conducted through a secret ballot or not.

Read: What Constitution says about secret ballot in motion of no confidence

The motion which was tabled to take place on Tuesday, 18th of April, has been postponed pending Constitutional Court judgement on whether MPs should be allowed to vote by secret ballot.

Public law expert and political analyst, Professor Richard Calland, says Section 57 of the Constitution gives full authority to Parliament to make its own rules.

However, Calland says " the court, where it is necessary to preserve or protect the Constitution, can intervene" to the rules of Parliament.

One of the things that could happen in the case is that the court says the failure to be clear about what rule should apply when there is motion of no confidence, means we now have to say what should be there to protect Section 102, a mo confidence vote provision, to ensure it is meaningful, so that people don't turn up to vote for the President in order to protect their jobs.

Prof Richard Calland, public law professor at UCT

Listen to Professor Richard Calland below explaining why the court could vote in favor of UDM...


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