Opposition leader post

Published : 12:05 am  August 11, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (54) reads | 

no power to change opposition leader 

 MB-1-5

Says JO MPs cannot be considered as members of a separate political party

 

According to the Constitution and parliamentary tradition I am not in a position to change the opposition leaders at this juncture  

 

By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera 

 
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya in his ruling on the opposition leader’s post informed parliament yesterday that according to the Constitution and parliamentary tradition he was not in a position to change the opposition leader at this juncture. 

Giving reasons for his decision, the Speaker said according to the Constitution, the group of UPFA MPs sitting in the Opposition could not be considered as a separate political party while another group of the same party was functioning as ministers in the government.  


“A resolution was submitted to form a national government on September 3, 2015 according to the provisions of the Constitution with 143 MPs voting in favour and 16 against and thus the UPFA is part of the national government. 
I cannot accept the group of UPFA MPs sitting in the opposition as a separate party because of the amendment to the Constitution to set up a national government,” the Speaker said   

 

It was the parliamentary tradition to appoint the leader of the political party which had a majority and was not part of the government as Opposition Leader and this resulted in TNA Leader R. Sampanthan being appointed to this post on September 3, 2015


He said it was the parliamentary tradition to appoint the leader of the political party which had a majority and was not part of the government as Opposition Leader and this resulted in TNA Leader R. Sampanthan being appointed to this post on September 3, 2015.  


The speaker said he studied the views expressed by the experts on parliamentary democracy, world parliamentary traditions, traditions of the countries representing the Inter-parliamentary Union and the Commonwealth and the views expressed by the MPs who argued the matter for hours last Tuesday before giving his ruling on this matter.   


He said however, he would ensure that the rights of the UPFA MPs sitting in the opposition would be upheld when allocating time for debates and reasonable representation in all parliamentary committees. 

 


We’ve just begun our struggle

DM-1-5By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana  

The joint opposition’s struggle to secure the opposition leader’s post has not ended but has just begun, MP Bandula Gunawardene said yesterday.  

He said this in response to a question raised by journalists whether there was any legal provision to contest the ruling given by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.  


“Speaker’s ruling is not a defeat and it has not ended our struggle,” the MP said.  


MP Chandima Weerakody said the Speaker’s ruling was unfair as TNA MP R. Sampanthan cannot function as Opposition Leader because his party is actually supporting the Prime Minister and the government. “Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe managed to show a majority with the support of the TNA. Therefore how could one consider the TNA as an opposition party,” Mr. Weerakkody asked.  


He said even the JVP could not be consider an opposition party because it was also dealing with the government.  


Mr. Weerakkody faulted the Speaker for not allowing the JO to voice its opinion on his ruling regarding the opposition leader’s post.