How the vote of no confidence will work

Today will be the day President Jacob Zuma faces his 8th motion of no confidence. 

This one is different from the previous seven as it will be held by secret ballot. The process of removing a president by secret ballot is a new one to the country and we explain how it will work.

Read: #ZumaVote: This is how the secret ballot in the motion of no confidence will work

After a debate by members of parliament (MPs) on the motion of no confidence, the National Assembly will shut and lock its doors to commence with the vote of no confidence. The Speaker, Baleka Mbete, will then announce the procedure that will be followed.

Thokozani Chilenga, associate lecturer of political science at Wits University, said, “All MPs will be called in alphabetical order and they will be given a ballot paper for their vote.” The ballot paper they will be handed will have the following options: Yes; No; and Abstain. There will be a stamp on the ballot paper to verify it. MPs will make their vote and put their papers into a box while party chief whips monitor the voting to ensure irregularities are avoided.

Read: Concourt reserves judgement regarding secret vote of no confidence in Zuma

When all the MPs have voted, the speaker will give an instruction to close the ballot boxes and counting will begin. A counting room will be set aside and ballot counting will take place under the supervision of the speaker, party whips or representatives, and Parliamentary Protection Services. Votes will be counted and audited and the secretary of the National Assembly will sign off the results and hand them over to the speaker. Only the speaker has the right to announce the results to the assembly.

The speaker will then announce the results to the National Assembly and ballot papers will be stored in archive boxes which will be sealed with cable ties and wax, and placed in a safe.

No electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets will be allowed into the counting room. This is to prevent an exchange of information on the counting process and results. Ballots that have no stamp on them, if they are unmarked and/or if an MP has made more than one mark on the paper, will be regarded as invalid ballots.

Source: Procedure for voting by secret ballot in National Assembly 

  AUTHOR
Andile Dlodlo

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