Former Opposition leader R. Sampanthan yesterday endorsed the Speaker’s action to have conducted the voice by vote on two occasions, proving MP Mahinda Rajapaksa does not command majority in the Parliament.
TNA MP R. Sampanthan
Addressing media immediately after the chaos in the House, MP Sampanthan accused the Rajapaksa supporters for disrupting the proceedings, which paved the way to have a voice vote removing all possibilities in conducting the poll using the electronic system or by name.
“There were some questions raised about a voice vote. It was decided when the Parliament met on Friday to move the motion again to prove that there is no confidence in him or his Government. The vote was to be held by name or by using the electronic system to ensure transparency. But they prevented the Speaker from sitting on his Chair and taking control of the Parliament. They surrounded the Chair and one shamefully occupied it. Eventually, Speaker arrived under police protection to conduct the proceedings. The Standing Orders were suspended, and the resolution was moved and once again adopted by a voice vote. Unfortunately, the electronic voting system could not be used nor could the vote be taken by calling the members by name,” said MP Sampanthan.
Drawing attention to the constitutional crisis that took place for three weeks, bringing the country to a grinding halt, MP Sampanthan said: “Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed on 26 October on the basis that he had majority in the Parliament. It is the duty of Mahinda Rajapaksa to come to the Parliament without a delay and to prove his majority through a vote in the House. This he did not do. On the contrary. He and his supporters engaged in bribing the Members of Parliament with diverse portfolios, including ministerships and money, according to public knowledge. Everyone knew about it. Despite all these efforts, he still could not master the majority. He was not able to pass the mark of 113 members in the 225-member Parliament to prove that he has the majority.”
According to MP Sampanthan, the political parties opposing MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Members of Parliament who knew that he has no majority, decided to move a resolution, which won on two occasions.
“This no confidence motion was to prove that he has no majority in the House and the Government represented by him. That resolution was moved and passed in the Parliament on 14 November. The resolution was adopted by a voice vote. On 14 November, 122 members assembled to sign a no confidence motion against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government. Subsequently, the Parliament met on 15 November, allowing him to make a statement. By the end of his statement, a resolution was moved, rejecting his statement and once again reaffirming that the House had no confidence in him,” explained MP Sampanthan. (AH)