Home Opinion and Features What is a motion of no confidence and how will it work?

What is a motion of no confidence and how will it work?

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This will be the first motion of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa since he came to office in 2018.

File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Two motions of no confidence against President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet will continue on Wednesday as scheduled by the Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The first motion, which has been tabled by the African Transformation Movement (ATM), is against Ramaphosa, and Mapisa-Nqakula refused to postpone it after the ATM argued that the matter was still in court.

The second motion has been tabled by the DA and it is against the Cabinet.

But, what is a motion of no confidence and how does it work?

A motion of no confidence in the Cabinet is allowed by Section 102 (1) of the Constitution.

According to the rules on virtual sittings, members are entitled to cast their votes either electronically, by voice or by having their votes recorded by their respective whips.

Mapisa-Nqakula confirmed that a manual roll-call voting procedure will be used for the voting on the motion.

The secretary will call each member, and each member will voice either “yes” or “no” on the question.

If a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet passes, the president remains in his position but must fire the whole Cabinet. If a motion of no confidence in the president should pass, the whole Cabinet also has to resign.

A majority of votes is needed. That means that 201 votes will do in both cases. Should all opposition parties support the motion, it would mean that 31 ANC MPs have to break rank and vote in support of the motion for it to be passed.

The motion will be conducted through an open ballot in the National Assembly.

This will be the first motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa since he came to office in 2018.

The ATM and the Speaker have been battling in court for months after initially taking on former Speaker Thandi Modise in 2020 over the same issues.

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