What if mo­tion of no con­fi­dence suc­ceeds?

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BHEKI MBAN­JWA

THE en­tire cab­i­net would be dis­solved and Speaker Baleka Mbete would be­come act­ing pres­i­dent if to­day’s mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was suc­cess­ful.

“It is al­most the same sit­u­a­tion you find af­ter elec­tions where the pres­i­dent has not con­sti­tuted the cab­i­net but you have the ad­min­is­tra­tion, the di­rec­tors­gen­eral and so on run­ning the gov­ern­ment,” said con­sti­tu­tional law ex­pert Pierre de Vos.

Phep­helani Dube, direc­tor of the Cen­tre for Con­sti­tu­tional Rights, said the deputy pres­i­dent, as the head of the cab­i­net, would also be re­moved from his po­si­tion.

The chief jus­tice would then have to sched­ule a vote for a new pres­i­dent by the Na­tional As­sem­bly within 30 days.

Should the Na­tional As­sem­bly fail to elect a new pres­i­dent within this pe­riod, an early gen­eral elec­tion might be called, said De Vos.

“That could hap­pen if, for ex­am­ple, there is no pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who re­ceives the ma­jor­ity of votes.”

But Dube said the con­sti­tu­tion was si­lent on this mat­ter. “I have heard some po­lit­i­cal par­ties say­ing this, but the con­sti­tu­tion does not say any­thing about it.”

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma may find it dif­fi­cult to get re-elected into the po­si­tion as he is no longer a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment.

There­fore, the first step his sup­port­ers might well take would be to get him back into Par­lia­ment, and that would mean get­ting him to the top of the elec­toral lists.

“It is not com­pletely im­pos­si­ble, but it is al­most im­pos­si­ble,” De Vos noted.

He said if there was a va­cancy, the next per­son on the elec­toral list would get sec­onded to Par­lia­ment. The lists can be shuf­fled only once a year.

Dube agreed, say­ing Zuma’s re-elec­tion, should he be axed, would de­pend on what the ANC did with its party lists.

The only chance would be get­ting him onto the pro­vin­cial lists, and even those re­quire that a new per­son may be added only if the list has been de­pleted. “It means that if all the peo­ple on that list have be­come mem­bers of Par­lia­ment. That is how Brian Molefe be­came a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, be­cause North West had de­pleted its list,” she said.


OP­TI­MISTIC OP­PO­SI­TION: UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, left, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, EFF leader Julius Malema and Free­dom Front leader Pi­eter Groe­newald ad­dress a me­dia brief­ing af­ter the an­nounce­ment by Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete that the lat­est mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will be de­cided by se­cret bal­lot.

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