Ananda Kumarasiri elected Deputy Speaker

Published : 9:10 am  June 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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  • 97  members voted for Mr. Kumarasiri 
  • 53 members voted for Dr. Sudarshani


zhgthgfnbBy Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana   

UNP MP Ananda Kumarasiri was yesterday elected Deputy Speaker by a majority of 44 votes in a secret ballot. Ninety seven members voted for Mr. Kumarasiri and Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle obtained 53 votes while more than 74 members were not in Parliament during voting.   


The posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker should go to the government group

UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana proposed Mr. Kumarasiri’s name while MP S.B. Dissanayake proposed Dr. Fernandopulle’s name on behalf of the UPFA and the joint opposition.   

Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan then suggested that all parties should come to a consensus and appoint Dr. Fernandopulle to the post.   

“MPs have been appointed to posts such as Deputy Speaker through a consensus of all parties and we suggest that this practice should be carried out in this instance as well,” he said. “Under the consensus reached in 2015 the Deputy Speaker’s post should go to the SLFP and we urge all MPs to support the appointment of Dr. Fernandopulle to the post.”   

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who responded said the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker should go to the government group while that of Deputy Chairman of committees should go to the opposition. We agreed to the nominee originally named from the SLFP but some members in the UPFA did not agree to it. This led us to nominate a backbencher to the post,” he said.   

Mr. Sampanthan said his party would support Dr. Fernandopulle.   

JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardene said all members should support Dr. Fernandopulle and make the event of electing a deputy speaker a historic occasion. “Electing a woman MP as the Deputy Speaker would be historic, therefore let’s all reach a consensus and elect Dr. Fernandopulle,” he said.   

However, the vote was taken up with the announcement made by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that MPs should sign the ballot papers before dropping them into the box which was kept in the Well of the House. The TNA and JVP walked out of the Chambers when the bell was sounded, calling members to vote. Several members from the SLFP, JO and UNP were absent at the time of voting.