Call to dis­solve Par­lia­ment: op­po­si­tion also wants a say

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE -

CAPE TOWN — Par­lia­ment must be dis­solved be­cause it was also com­plicit in Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s fail­ure to up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion, op­po­si­tion par­ties have ar­gued.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties yes­ter­day upped the pres­sure on the ANC by call­ing for Par­lia­ment’s dis­so­lu­tion if Zuma is re­moved through a sched­uled EFF mo­tion of no con­fi­dence.

“Ev­ery­one in South Africa has called for the re­moval of Ja­cob Zuma,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said at a press brief­ing in Par­lia­ment. “In the con­text of that, we can’t be spec­ta­tors to the ANC’s in­ter­nal fac­tions. Let us go to Par­lia­ment and re­move Zuma.”

The plan, there­fore, is to de­bate the EFF’s mo­tion as soon as pos­si­ble, and, if suc­cess­ful, ta­ble a sec­ond mo­tion call­ing for Par­lia­ment’s dis­so­lu­tion.

The EFF’s strate­gic tabling of its mo­tion en­sures it will be the first of its na­ture to be de­bated on the sub­ject, and would have a chance of pass­ing if the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee or­ders Zuma to be re­called.

The par­ties ar­gue that, were the ANC to vote with the op­po­si­tion on the EFF’s mo­tion, they would be agree­ing to the same rea­sons for Zuma’s re­moval.

Those rea­sons in the mo­tion are that Zuma failed to up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion dur­ing the Nkandla de­ba­cle, as ruled by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court in 2016.

Par­lia­ment was also im­pli­cated in that judg­ment, for fail­ing to hold the pres­i­dent to ac­count on the mat­ter.

If the ANC agrees to re­move Zuma on those grounds, it must there­fore also dis­solve Par­lia­ment for the same rea­sons.

The ANC cau­cus could choose to amend the EFF’s mo­tion on the day though, to take out the ex­plicit rea­sons for Zuma’s re­moval. Deputy Speaker Lech­esa Tsenoli yes­ter­day said Par­lia­ment was “con­sult­ing” on the re­quest to move the date to this week.

The dis­so­lu­tion mo­tion is un­likely to take place on the same day as a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence, how­ever. Sec­tion 50 of the Con­sti­tu­tion states that, if a pres­i­dent is re­moved through a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence, and his en­tire cab­i­net re­signs, then there is only one item on the agenda: to elect a new pres­i­dent within 30 days.

Baleka Mbete as Speaker as­sumes the pres­i­dency un­til a new mem­ber is elected from among the mem­bers within the time pe­riod, Sec­tion 90 con­firms.

Par­lia­ment will, there­fore, be free to de­bate the sub­ject, only af­ter a new per­ma­nent pres­i­dent is ap­pointed. If no pres­i­dent is elected within 30 days, Par­lia­ment dis­solves any­way.

Mbete as­sumes the pres­i­dency for a fur­ther 90 days, and new elec­tions must be held within that pe­riod. Cab­i­net con­tin­ues its du­ties in the in­terim un­til a new pres­i­dent is sworn in. — News24.

“... we can’t be spec­ta­tors to the ANC’s in­ter­nal fac­tions. Let us go to Par­lia­ment and re­move Zuma.”

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