- Insists legality of Prime Minister must be resolved before all else
The United National Party (UNP) yesterday confirmed they would be out in force when parliament is reconvened and rejected a Vote on Account as the legality of the Prime Minister’s appointment remains unsettled.
The Speaker positively responded to President Maithripala Srisena’s request to facilitate the newly installed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, the UNP would focus on the issue of establishing the legitimacy of the Prime Minister and would not be deterred by any other business of parliament including a Vote on Account, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said speaking at a media briefing at Temple Trees.
“There is no need for a Vote on Account, such a vote should be presented by a Finance Minister, to have a Finance Minister there should be a Government, to have a Government there has to be a Prime Minister so before everything else we have to decide who is Prime Minister and who forms the head of the Government is,” a confident de Silva told media.
However, responding to questions on whether attending Parliament when Rajapaksa is to sit as Prime Minster is in any form accepting the appointment, UNP MP, Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the party will attend the session because they respect democratic process and desire to solve the current political crisis through the institution. “Even if this move is not legal, because we respect the Parliament and democracy we will attend parliament, and show who has majority, we are confident that we can show this. If not we will give everything up and return to the Opposition,” Dr. de Silva claimed.
“We will attend Parliament as we respect the institution, and we practice Democracy. We can also demand this won’t or that won’t work. We only need one thing, we need to show who has majority, we are coming to Parliament to show our majority,” he said.
The economist however refused to have ‘a vote on account’ to show majority in parliament claiming that for a Budget or a supplementary estimate to be presented there has to be a legally established Government and a Finance Minister. When the 18th Amendment was put to vote under the previous Rajapaksa administration the UNP boycotted the vote.