Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella informed the Speaker in writing that the Parliament has no confidence in the newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa or the subsequent appointments.
The letter said “No-Confidence in the purported Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa or the purported Government appointed on or after 26 October”.
The Speaker has promised to include the motion in the Order papers on the first day Parliament reconvenes, Kiriella told Daily FT. “We have asked the speaker to include this, and he said he will do so,” he said.
In his letter Kiriella stated that there was no vacancy or occupation for the appointment of a Prime Minister on 26 October, noting that the “Office of the Prime Minister only becomes vacant if he does resign, ceases to be a member of Parliament (by removal or otherwise) or if the statement of Government Policy or Appropriation Bill is defeated or if a No-Confidence Motion is passed against the Government.
Calling the gazettes issued removing the sitting Prime Minister and appointing a new one “null and void and of no force or effect in the law”, Kiriella noted that “in any event this House has no confidence” in the “purported Prime Minister” or his Government.
The No-Confidence Motion said that “in terms of Articles 46(1) and 48 of the Constitution, the Office of Prime Minister becomes vacant only if he dies, resigns, ceases to be a Member of Parliament (by removal or otherwise), or if the Government’s Policy statement or the Budget was defeated or if the Government loses a No-Confidence Motion against it”.
“The Office of the Prime Minister did not become vacant at any time after the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe MP as Prime Minister,” the Motion states.
“This house resolves that (1) There was no vacancy or occasion for the appointment of a prime minister on 26 October, and as such, extraordinary No. 2094/43 dated 26 October, Gazette Extraordinary No. 2094/44 dated 26 October are null and void, and of no force or effect in law; And (2) In any event, this House has no confidence in the purported Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, or the purported Government appointed on or after 26 October.”
A separate resolution was passed last morning during the party representatives meeting chaired by the Speaker in Committee Room One of the Parliament Complex.
Proposed by UNP MP Ajith P. Perera and Seconded by UNF MP, Patali Champika Ranawaka, the resolution refused to recognise the appointment of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and the appointments and decisions that followed.
The Speaker responded by saying he will pay due attention to the matter.
The resolution, read out by Perera, said the Gazette notification issued by President Maithripala Sirisena on 26 October making Mahinda Rajapaksa the Prime Minister was against the Constitution.
“We also don’t accept any of the decisions and appointments made by the President that followed the appointment of Rajapaksa as Prime Minister,” the MPs said.