Tamil National Alliance Makes Written Submissions to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya Outlining Several Reasons as to why Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa Should not be Recognized as Leader of the Opposition.
(The Tamil National Alliance has made written submissions urging the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya not to recognize Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as Leader of the Opposition. The TNA Outlining several reasons fir taking up yhis position has requested that a Parliamentary Select Committee be appointed to go into the matter and arrive at a final decision. The full text of the submidsion sent on behalf of the TNA by Jaffna district MP and party spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran PC is reproduced here)
December 19, 2018
Post of Leader of the Opposition
I write with reference to the above matter and thank you for affording me the opportunity to make representations in writing.
1. There is no dispute that the Leader of the political party in Opposition with the most number of seats in parliament ought to be recognized as the Leader of the Opposition. However the question that now confronts us is whether the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is a party in Opposition.
2. According to established parliamentary tradition a party in Opposition, is one that does not participate in the government. The UPFA cannot be considered as a party in Opposition since the Leader of the UPFA is the Head of Government and the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers. In addition he also holds portfolios of Defence, Mahaweli Development and Environment. Presently HE Maithripala Sirisena holds the Ministries of Law and Order and Media also. In this context where the chairman of the UPFA is not only the Head of government but also a minister in the Cabinet with at least five ministries under him, the UPFA cannot be considered to be a party in the Opposition.
3. Three members of the UPFA crossed over to the government ranks yesterday. Previously another three members did the same. The Cabinet of Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers are yet to be appointed and I have information that at least two of the above six MPP have been named in the lists of Cabinet Ministers nominated by the Hon. Prime Minister. It is probable that more UPFA MPP will be accommodated as State Ministers and Deputy Ministers. There can also be more cross-overs of UPFA MP’s to the government in the coming days.
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