How many votes are needed to OUST the Cabinet?

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On Wednesday 30 March, Parliament will vote on a no confidence motion against the ANC Cabinet. The gaggle of ministers have been accused of over-promising and under-delivering, and the DA is fighting tooth and nail to kick President Ramaphosa’s inner-circle to the curb. But just who will the odds favour?

Motion of no confidence: How many votes are needed to successfully remove the Cabinet?

The DA will need a simple majority from all voters present in the house. This is known as the 50% + 1 rule. If all 400 elected MPs cast a vote, that means a total of 201 votes would need to be cast IN FAVOUR of the no confidence motion for it to be successfully upheld.

This won’t be easy, mind. The DA, and all other opposition parties, hold just 170 seats in the National Assembly. Even if we assume everyone bar the ANC votes to oust the Cabinet, they’re going to need an additional 31 votes from the ANC benches. A mini-revolt is possible, but one requiring this many defectors is a tough ask.

The DA had held out hope that they could get ministers barred from voting, citing a conflict of interest. That would have whittled down the available ANC votes down from 230, to 204. The DA would, in that scenario, need just 18 ANC votes to get them across the line. But Minister Patricia de Lille represents the GOOD Party…

Therefore, their two MPs aren’t likely to support the motion that would kick the GOOD leader out of Cabinet. A lot of caveats like these dramatically slash the chances of a full and united front amongst the opposition.

Furthermore, the ballot WILL NOT be held in secret. That means any ANC MP who registers their disdain with the Cabinet by voting against them could fear reprisal for breaking the party line. The DA’s dream of dismantling the Cabinet is alive and kicking, but it’s hard to see it still being in tact by Wednesday evening.

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