Sri Lanka’s government may have set a record in the history of Westminster parliamentary system by voting Friday to defeat a crucial de-limitation report it had commissioned and introduced in the House.
Minister Faiszer Musthapha also voted against the “Report of the Delimitation Committee for the Delimitation of electorates in Provincial Councils” which he himself introduced in the legislature to clear the way local elections.
MPs voted 139 against and none in favour.
The report was required to be approved by a majority of two-thirds voting in its favour, in terms of the Provincial Councils Elections Act. It was originally presented to parliament on March 6 by Musthapha who is the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government.
Even the JVP which supported the report and called for early elections absented themselves at the time of voting. It was clear that no political party was in favour of holding early local elections despite their rhetoric to the contrary.
The defeat of the report means there will have to be a fresh de-limitation report which will require several months thus delaying provincial council elections.
Diplomatic sources who followed the vote were surprised that government MPs voted along with their arch rival Joint Opposition to defeat a report they themselves presented to parliament five months ago.
Many asked why the legislature spent time and money to debate a report that they were unanimously going to reject