MR confirmed as opposition leader | Daily News

MR confirmed as opposition leader

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya reaffirmed that he recognizes former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Opposition Leader of Parliament, Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri told Parliament today.

As Speaker Jayasuriya had left to attend the Conference of Speakers of Commonwealth Countries in Malta, the Deputy Speaker read out the Speaker’s announcements to the House at the commencement of the sittings.

“Whether the seat of an MP has been vacated or not as per the law or the Constitution, whether any MP has lost or resigned from his party membership are not matters coming under the purview of the Speaker to decide as per the Constitution as well as Standing Orders of Parliament. Those matters must be decided by the courts of law,” the Speaker said in his ruling.

The Speaker said that he received a letter from UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera on December 19, 2018 informing that the UPFA nominates former President Rajapaksa’s name as the Opposition Leader.

The Speaker also ruled out the request to appoint a Parliament Select Committee to look into the eligibility of former President Rajapaksa to hold the Opposition Leader post stating that it was against the Parliamentary traditions and democratic principles to accept a motion presented by a majority group to look into internal matters of a minority group representing Parliament.

The motion was presented by the UNP and the TNA. Following the Speaker’s announcement on December 18 on the post of Opposition Leader, both the UNP and the TNA argued that former President Rajapaksa and his fellow MPs ceased to be Members of Parliament as one month has lapsed since they vacated the SLFP and obtained membership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

Former President Rajapaksa assumed the Opposition Leader's chair yesterday and TNA Leader R Sampanthan was absent. The Opposition Leader is also an ex-officio member of the Constitutional Council.  


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