Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has decided to maintain the status quo in Parliament before it was prorogued, when Parliament reconvenes.
As a result new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be given the Prime Minister seat in Parliament as the current Government members will need to sit in the opposition seats.
“As the majority is of the opinion that all changes made in the Parliament are undemocratic and inconsistent with traditions of Parliament and as the majority of Parliament have requested that the status that existed before these changes were made shall be accepted, I wish to emphasize that I am compelled to accept the status that existed previously until such time that they and the new political alliance prove their majority in Parliament,” he said.
Jayasuriya had earlier decided to give Rajapaksa the Prime Minister’s seat in Parliament after he was appointed Prime Minister.
However, in a statement today, the Speaker said that he received a motion signed by 116 MPs stating that they cannot accept the decision taken by the President.
The Speaker said that he feels the concern raised by the MPs is justifiable and so he will not make any changes in Parliament till one party or the other shows it has the majority in Parliament to form a Government.
“I am of the opinion that the request submitted to me under the hand of 116 Members of Parliament of the United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Muslim Congress stating that the decision made by His Excellency the President was unconstitutional and undemocratic and as they are not in agreement with the said decision that the Parliament should be summoned forthwith and seek approval thereto is extremely reasonable,” he said.
Jayasuriya also recalled that he made several requests for Parliament to be reconvened early in order to resolve the crisis.
The Speaker expected Parliament to reconvene on November 7th. However President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (Sunday) issued notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14th. (Colombo Gazette)