The United National Front (UNF) is to ask Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to prove his majority in Parliament when the House meets Monday Noc 19 afternoon.
UNF leaders are expected to ask President Maithripala Sirisena who appointed Mr. Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, to ask him to move a Resolution in the House, setting aside the proceedings that took place in Parliament this week, i.e. on November 14, 15 and 16 where Votes of No Confidence on the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government were moved by the UNP, TNA and JVP and voted upon.
According to the Speaker, the No Confidence motions were carried by a voice vote as there was no request for any other form of voting according to Standing Orders of Parliament.
UNP’s Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday that the “purported Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa could request Standing Orders to be suspended and the motion to be taken immediately. We will not object to that. We will allow a voice vote to be taken without any disruption. We will support electronic voting or even voting by name whichever the purported Government wants.”
Mr. Kiriella said that a Prime Minister appointed in-between an election must show he commanded the majority of Parliament. He said Parliament had already voted against Mr. Rajapaksa and it was incumbent on President Sirisena to call on the leader of the party that had the most number of seats in Parliament, and could command the confidence of its majority be invited to be Prime Minister.
He said that President Sirisena had agreed to accept a “voice vote” in Parliament. The President had also agreed to take action against UPFA MPs who would misbehave during such a vote, but had gone back on his word, Mr. Kiriella said adding that several UNP MPs and the Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan were present when the promise was made.
UPFA spokesman and State Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella conceded that the President had agreed to a voice vote, but the vote had to follow proper procedure, he said.
He said that President Sirisena had not given a deadline for the UPFA to show its majority in Parliament. This comment came after Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members met the President on Friday night after the commotion in Parliament that afternoon.