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How the secret ballot will work


On Monday National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete announced that the no confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma will be conducted through a secret ballot.

File photo: Benny Gool

This is what will happen in Parliament this afternoon: 

* From 2pm proceedings will be begin with members of Parliament taking their seats and commence with debating the motion of no confidence based on the motions stated by leader of the opposition, the DA’s Mmusi Maimane. 

* After the debate, business of the National Assembly will be suspended to allow for the preparation of the chamber for a secret ballot vote. 

* National Assembly rules provide for a electronic or manual voting process. (It’s likely the manual voting procedure will be used). 

* After the chambers have been prepped, bells will be rang to signal to MPs to return to chambers where the doors will be locked for voting process to begin. 

* The question of whether members have confidence in Zuma, will be printed on a ballot paper with the options of “yes”, “no” and “abstain”. 

* There will be two ballot boxes and four voting booths. 

* Members will be called in alphabetical order to collect ballot papers from the voting table. 

* Each ballot paper will be stamped and MPs’ names will be crossed out on the control sheet as they proceed to vote. 

* After the voting process is done, the Speaker will ask one chief whip or representatives from political parties to witness the counting and ensure there is no tampering with the ballots. The counting process takes place in the presence of whips and the Speaker. 

* A counting room will be set aside and will be monitored by the Sergeant of arms and the Parliamentary Protection Unit. 

* After the counting of the ballots is done and they have been audited, the secretary to the National Assembly will sign-off on the results before handing them to the speaker. 

* No one can reveal the results before the Speaker announces them in Parliament. 

* Bells will be rung for resumption of business, and then the Speaker will announce the results. 

** How many MPs are sworn into Parliament and how many numbers do the opposition parties need for the no confidence vote to succeed? 

There are a total of 400 seats in Parliament and this is how they are allocated; 

* The ANC 249 

* DA 89  

* EFF 25

* IFP 10

* NFP 6

* UDM 4

* FF-Plus 4 

* COPE 3 

* ACDP 3

* AIC 3

* Agang SA 2

* PAC 1

* APC 1

A total of 201 MPs would have to vote in support of the no confidence vote for the motion to succeed. If the motion does succeed, then President Jacob Zuma along with his cabinet will have to resign. Speaker Baleka Mbete would act as president for 30 days.