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Ananda Kumarasiri(UNP),Dr.Sudharshini Fernandopulle(SLFP) and Angajan Ramanathan(SLFP) Contest for Deputy – Speaker in Parliamentary Poll by Secret Ballot

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Disna Mudalige

A secret vote will be taken up in Parliament today(June 5) to elect a Deputy Speaker, Parliament Serjeant-at-Arms Anil Parakrama Samarasekara said.

He told the Daily News that ballot boxes and other arrangements necessary for a secret vote will be facilitated today.

The SLFP has proposed the name of National List MP Angajan Ramanathan, while the UNP has decided to field Monaragala District MP Ananda Kumarasiri for the Deputy Speaker post.

The Joint Opposition has decided to propose the name of Gampaha District MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle.

The post fell vacant following the resignation of Thilanga Sumathipala, who crossed over from the Government to the Opposition with another 15 SLFP MPs on May 8.

As per the initial UNP-SLFP agreement in 2015, the post of Deputy Speaker should be given to an MP from the SLFP. The TNA at a Party Leaders’ Meeting held on May 22 reportedly objected to the nomination of MP Ramanathan for the post.

If Dr. Fernandopulle is elected to the post, she will be the first female Deputy Speaker in the Sri Lankan Parliament. The election of the Deputy Speaker will commence soon after the oral questions’ round in Parliament when it meets at 1 pm today.

Parliament Assistant Director (Administration) Janakantha De Silva pointed out the last secret vote was taken in April 2004 to elect the Speaker when the names of both W.J.M. Lokubandara and D.E.W. Gunesekara were proposed for the post. “The sittings went on till around 11 pm and three rounds of vote had to be conducted as it was a tie at the previous two occasions,” he recollected.

Courtesy:Daily News

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