It has been decided to hold a Floor Test on 14 November after reconvening Parliament to determine which political party commands the majority to make the choice of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The decision was taken despite objections raised by the UPFA, Parliamentary sources said.
This decision was taken during the unofficial Party Leaders’ Meeting called by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to discuss the agenda of the Inaugural Sitting of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka which is scheduled for 14 November.
It was also said that Speaker Jayasuriya had agreed to accept President Maithripala Sirisena’s Gazette Notification through which Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 26 October.
During the meeting, the UPFA had argued that the Government believes that Parliament should be adjourned after the Ceremonial Sitting in which Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake reads out President Sirisena’s Order to reconvene Parliament. They had reportedly said the Government has the majority of 113 Parliamentarians but does not agree with holding a vote to determine the majority.
However, other Party Leaders of the United National Front (UNF), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) had vehemently opposed the Government’s stance and argued that there should be a way to determine who commands the majority in Parliament for the Prime Minister’s post.
Speaker Jayasuriya, after considering the opinions of both factions had ruled that there would be a Floor Test to determine the majority.
The Speaker had noted that 116 MPs had earlier handed over written requests to him to reconvene Parliament to determine the majority. “Apart from that, the country is in a crisis due to the recent political developments and everyone is looking at Sri Lanka, therefore, we should show the majority in order to make the country stable,” he had pointed out.
“I should listen to the majority of MPs in Parliament. Therefore, after finishing the general agenda of the Inaugural Sitting on 14 November, the House should go for a Floor Test to determine who commands the majority for the Prime Minister post of the country. If it is necessary, Standing Orders of Parliament could be suspended to ensure the test,” the Speaker ruled.
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