JO deliberating on being independent in Parliament | Daily News

JO deliberating on being independent in Parliament

Party leaders of the Joint Opposition (JO) will meet today under the auspices of former President and Kurunegala district MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to decide if JO MPs should become independent in Parliament, Vasudeva Nanayakkara MP said.

Nanayakkara told the media in Colombo that the JO was contemplating on becoming independent in Parliament due to the prevailing view that they should become independent to obtain the Opposition Leader post.

Recently, a letter, signed by eight UPFA Members of Parliament requesting that the post of Leader of the Opposition be given to UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena, was submitted to the Speaker.

The letter claimed that 70 members in Parliament are representing the UPFA and therefore, the Opposition Leader position should be given to a UPFA Parliamentarian.

However, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya last week, announced that there will be no change in the post of Opposition Leader.Making a special statement in Parliament, the Speaker said, in accordance with the long-established parliamentary tradition, the leader of the party, which is not a party of the government and holds a majority of members in the opposition, had been accepted as the Leader of the Opposition.

However, Nanayakkara yesterday said, the JO should have the position as it commands the majority in the Opposition.

Meanwhile, SLFP National Organiser, and Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Disaster Management Minister Duminda Dissanayake on Sunday said, MPs who entered Parliament by contesting elections under the SLFP or UPFA ticket cannot become independent members now.

“SLFPers, who wish to become independent, can do so by contesting separately at the next election. Although a section of UPFA members had crossed over to the Opposition when the party was working within the government, their claim to be independent is invalid,” he said.

Minister Dissanayake was speaking to the media after calling on the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chief Prelates at their respective Aramayas in Kandy.


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