Unity-govt. will continue

Published : 9:16 am  February 22, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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  •  Untitled-2PM, UPFA General Secretary confirm
  • Amaraweera Says UPFA and SLFP abide by the agreement

 

 

 


By Yohan Perera

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera informed Parliament yesterday that the National Government formed by their two parties was still operational.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe who made the initial statement said no circumstances had risen for the two parties to withdraw from the Government.


“There has been no necessity for any party to withdraw from the Government they formed,” the Prime Minister said.


The Prime Minister also said both parties could continue with the Government under 46(4) of the Constitution whereby a resolution has to be passed to increase the number of Ministers. 

 

  • One cannot play around with the Constitution
  • There has been no necessity for any party to withdraw
  • The parties never had a written agreement on a time-frame…


Untitled-2He said the resolution which was presented in 2015 did not give any time-frame for the agreement and therefore the current Cabinet was legitimate.


“The parties never had a written agreement on a time-frame,” he said.


Minister Amaraweera said both the UPFA and the SLFP still abided with the agreement it signed with the UNP and would continue the National Government.


Chief Opposition whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who came out with an argument said both parties agreed to continue the National Government only for two years and they should have sought the approval of Parliament to increase the number of Ministers when the two years lapsed in September last year.


“The agreement between the two parties ended in September 2017. However, the parties did not seek House’s approval to increase the number of Ministers if they decided to extend the agreement. 
“Accordingly the Cabinet had been void from that day onwards,” he said.


He said UPFA General Secretary’s statement and statements that have been made by both the President and the Prime Minister in 2015 had also confirmed this position.


Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group leader Dinesh Gunawardane said the late Vishwa Waranapala, who was a signatory to the agreement between UNP and UPFA had clearly stated that the agreement was for two years and the approval of the House was needed for the Cabinet to continue. 

 

The agreement between the two parties ended in September 2017. However, the parties did not seek House’s approval to increase the number of Ministers if they decided to extend the agreement


He also recalled that one Party had said it would move out of the agreement on December 31, 2015, and the agreement.


“One cannot play around with the Constitution,” he said.


Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Faiszer Mustapha said both parties had decided to continue the Government under 46(4) of the Constitution and there was no necessity for a fresh approval to continue with the present Cabinet.


Joint Opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila, who joined in the crosstalk, said both the UPFA and the UNP would be setting a wrong precedent if they worked against the Constitution.


Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said the resolution passed to increase the number of Ministers did not have a time frame and therefore there was no legal lacuna in the matter.


Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said there seemed to be no issue in continuing with the present Cabinet and the National Government. However, he said he would look into the matter once again to clear all doubts. 

 

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