Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya yesterday told Parliament he will issue a special statement today regarding the agreement between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on the term of the national unity government.
He made this statement in response to a query raised by the Chief Opposition Whip, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and a group of Parliamentarians of the Joint Opposition.
MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the several MPs, including Dinesh Gunawardena, raised the issue of the term of the unity government on several occasions but the Leader of the House did not give an answer although it is a constitutional matter.
“These two parties formed a government called a national government. According to the 19th Amendment the number of ministerial portfolios can be increased to more than thirty only if there is a national government,” he pointed out.
“This national government has been formed for two years. It is only after reviewing that the decision can be made to continue the government. Parliament gave approval to increase the number of ministers from 30 to 48 and increase the number of deputy ministers from 40 to 48 as needed for the two years. Therefore, parliamentary approval is requires to increase the number of ministers after the first two years, “Dissanayake pointed out.
However, the approval to extend the number of ministers in the Unity government has expired after two years but the government has not taken any measures to renew it.
“Therefore, we have an issue of legitimacy of the Ministers at present. We ask questions from ministers who are not legit, we are not ready accept the authority of these ministers. We need to resolve this issue in the Supreme Court. Every decision these Ministers make will become an invalid decision,” MP Dissanayake said requesting the government to present an explanation.
Meanwhile, the Leader of the House said that none of the parties in the unity government has withdrawn itself from the government.