The Constitutional Court has declared 15 May as the day it will hear the application by opposition parties UDM and the EFF to compel a parliamentary vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma to be conducted by secret ballot, says a BusinessLIVE report. Zuma has opposed the application‚ saying a ruling by the court to effectively force Speaker Baleka Mbete to allow MPs to vote in secret would subvert the rights of the ANC in Parliament.

The debate and vote was postponed by Mbete to allow for the court application to be finalised. A majority of 200 plus one would be needed for a motion of no confidence to succeed. The ANC occupies 249 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. No motion of no confidence has succeeded because ANC MPs traditionally close ranks around Zuma.

A report on the Mail & Guardian Online site, notes Mbete said the parliamentary rules do not permit a vote of no confidence by secret ballot. In her affidavit, she asks the court to make a finding on the constitutionality of the parliamentary rules so they can be redrafted, if necessary. In contrast, the UDM, which brought the case, argues that since the President is elected by secret ballot, a vote of no confidence should be conducted in a similar manner.

Full BusinessLIVE report

Full report on the Mail & Guardian Online site