Dinesh wants PSC to resolve national list quagmire

Published : 8:46 am  September 22, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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Dinesh wants select committee to inquire into national list controversy
Pic by Waruna Wanniarachchi


By Sandun A Jayasekera
Colombo District parliamentarian and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardana said he would today request Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to appoint an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee to inquire into the national list quagmire.

 Two FR petitions were earlier filed in the Supreme Court in this regard by former minister and Communist Party leader DEW Gunasekara and former MP and trade unionist Somaweera Chandrasiri. The Parliament will meet at 1.00 pm today.

Mr. Gunawardana told the media yesterday that the appointment of defeated candidates through the national list as done by the UPFA was not only a violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that introduced the national list system to parliament but an insult to the people’s sovereignty, parliament and parliamentary democracy.

“The 14th Amendment of 1988 provides political party secretaries to appoint to parliament only from among those mentioned in the list of 29 members submitted to the Elections Commissioner at the close of nominations for the general election. Therefore, the appointment of six defeated candidates by the UPFA general secretary was unconstitutional, unethical, illegal. It is on this basis that I will request the Speaker to appoint a PSC to inquire into this matter and rectify this controversy,” he said.   

Mr. Gunawardana asked whether this was the good governance and democracy promised by the Maithripala–Ranil government and whether this unethical practice was in line with the Commonwealth and Inter Parliament Union (IPU) principles.   

He said the socialist parties warned about the danger of introducing the national list at the time it was introduced in May, 1988 but Prime Minister R. Premadasa categorically stated that no one outside the national list would be appointed to parliament.