What happened in Parliament today?

What happened in Parliament today?

Written by Devuni Goonewardene

23 Nov, 2018 | 10:00 pm

Colombo (News 1st) – The Committee of Selection in Parliament comprising of members nominated by the Speaker was adopted today with 121 votes cast in favour and zero votes against.

All members of the ruling party had left the chamber prior to the vote in protest to the nominations made by the Speaker.

Following the proposal made last week to appoint a Committee of Selection in Parliament, the UPFA claiming to be the ruling party had nominated 7 persons.

Five nominations were made from the United National Front and two from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. The Committee of Selection is made up of 13 members including the Speaker.

Political parties were unable to reach a consensus at the party leader’s meeting held prior to the sitting in parliament today, on the constitution of the Committee of Selection.

Karu Jayasuriya stated that since there was no agreement at the party leaders meeting, under the powers vested in him by standing orders 136 and 143 the following members are nominated for the Committee on Selection;

United People’s Freedom Alliance – Dinesh Gunawardena, S.B. Dissanayake, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Mahinda Samarasinghe and Wimal Weerawansa

United National Party –  Lakshman Kiriella, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganesan and Patali Champika Ranawaka

Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi –  Mavai Senadhiraja

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna – Vijitha Herath

UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena after the announcement stated that the Speaker has made the wrong decision. He went on to state that the speaker is conducting a UNP parliamentary meeting and that he is partisan to the UNP and is kicking aside parliamentary tradition.

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella states right after this, that the UPFA has made a statement that there is no Prime Minister and no Leader of the House in this parliament and that if the proposed government, show the majority in parliament, they will hand over all the governing to them.

UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena stated that the legislature cannot challenge the constitutional powers of the President and that they completely reject the notion that a no-confidence motion was adopted on the 14th of November. He then added asking the Parliament to accept the government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the legitimate government.

The Leader of JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that appointing a Prime Minister in the night and announcing the change in government is similar to the ‘law of the jungle’.  He went on to state that, if a problem is encountered regarding the select committee, it is the Parliament that has the right to resolve it.

MP Anura Kumara thereby requests MP’s to cast their votes by announcing their names. He then adds that as there are allegations of the speakers’ partisan manner, the Parliament is empowered to take action against the Speaker. Hence the accusers were requested to bring a no-confidence motion to against the speaker to scrutinize his actions.

UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa then addresses the gathering stating that a NCM cannot be adopted by a voice vote and that there is proper procedure to follow for it. He adds that the Parliament is filled with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hired henchmen and that they do not accept the PM, Leader of the House, Cabinet Ministers or the Speaker. He announces that the UPFA is leaving the Parliament and subsequently the ruling party leaves the chambers.

The speaker at the end noted that an electronic vote was held today to approve the nominees for the Committee of Selection and the additional nominees proposed today and that 121 votes have been cast in favour.

The Speaker then informed the house that parliament would reconvene at 1 PM on the 27 November and at 10:30 AM on the 29 November.

 

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