Vote on Account defeat would not dissolve P’ment: SLFP

Saturday, 3 November 2018 00:33 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says import restrictions will remain as they are Sirisena policy 
  • Will work to stabilise economy  

By Nuwan Senarathna

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) yesterday said under the 19th Amendment, even if a Vote on Account or No-Confidence Motion is defeated in Parliament, the House would not have to be dissolved. 

According to the 19th Amendment, Parliament can only be dissolved by two-thirds majority, President Maithripala Sirisena-appointed Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala said at a press conference held at SLFP Headquarters. 

Siripala pointed out that the Central Committee of SLFP was held on 1 November had endorsed the actions taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister. It was decided to call the all-island Executive Committee of the SLFP on 8 November and thereafter to convene a national committee with the participation of representatives before 31 December – a decision they had taken to strengthen party organisers in all electorates. 

The Committee had also decided that everyone should act with constrains without engaging any confrontations and law and order should be respected at all levels, he added. 

“President Maithripala Sirisena acted in terms of the provisions of the Constitution and the President has the right to prorogue Parliament. Therefore, nobody can challenge that.” 

Siripala said that if President Maithripala Sirisena had violated the Constitution, any citizen of Sri Lanka has the right to go to Supreme Court to seek an interpretation. He also pointed out that nobody has taken any step or showed that they are interested to seek an interpretation on the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He asserted that United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had the majority in Parliament.  “The Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa would be present at a Vote on Account in Parliament once it is convened.

“Yesterday, we met the Speaker in Parliament and delegations from all parties were also presented. He agreed that the next day of Parliament, seating arrangements would be made for the Prime Minister.”

He also said that UPFA had planned to bring their political supporters to Colombo to show their strength and public support for President Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

Speaking at a press conference, Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said the decision to curb the imports to control balance of payment would not be changed as it was taken by President Maithripala Sirisena. 

“Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Finance Minister appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, is preparing a Vote on Account and to complete that task, we needed time and it was a one reason to prorogue Parliament till 16 November. Only the President is vested with power to reconvene Parliament earlier than 16 November.”

He also noted that UPFA would meet heads of diplomatic missions in Colombo and the UN Resident Coordinator. “We have already met the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. During those meetings, we managed to explain our position. We are expecting to meet financial institutions as well,” he said.