- UNP and TNA request Speaker to investigate whether MR is eligible to be Opposition Leader
A group of Parliamentarians including the United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to appoint a Parliament Select Committee to look into the eligibility of MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to be the Leader of the Opposition.
The very fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa and several other members of parliament have joined the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna would amount to the cessation of their membership of the political party on whose nomination paper their names appeared at the time of their becoming MPs, and a month has lapsed since their ceasing to be MPs. Ipso facto, by the operation of the law, the seats of Mahinda Rajapaksa and several others who have joined the SLPP have become vacant.
Therefore, they called on Speaker Jayasuriya to appoint a Select Committee to inquire and report on the names of the MPs who were elected through the UPFA, but have subsequently joined the SLPP, and the date they joined the SLPP, as well as whether they have ceased to be members of UPFA, and the date which their respective seats are deemed to have fallen vacant. The UNP called on the Committee to also determine “whether the continued presence of Mahinda Rajapaksa and others in the House is an infringement of Article 4 of the Constitution and sub Articles (A) and (C).”
The document also requested Speaker Jayasuriya from declining to recognise Mahinda Rajapaksa as having the capacity to hold any office within Parliament, and asked that the Speaker stays the recognition of Mahinda Rajapaksa or any other member who is under investigation as the Leader of the Opposition or Chief Opposition Whip, until the submission of the report by this Committee and a decision is reached.
The Committee and its members are to be nominated by the Speaker and will consist of 11 members. It would present its report within two months of sitting or such time as may be granted by Parliament.