The currently held portfolios in Parliament, including the post of Prime Minister, will have to be freshly appointed once the election results are released, and the person who has the confidence of Parliament will become the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.
The Prime Minister made this response to a question directed at him during the ‘Talk with PM’ event attended by University academics at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo, yesterday.
Wickremesinghe was questioned whether he would remain the PM after November 17.
The PM explained the Constitutional provisions with regard to the matter: “We have to follow the Constitution. That was what we stressed even during the 52-day political crisis. The President has to appoint the person who has the confidence of Parliament as the Prime Minister. That will be decided by Parliament. If the PM loses Parliament’s confidence, he ceases to be the PM from that very moment. When he is defeated by a No-Confidence Motion he is not even entitled to go back using his official vehicle. If he continues to hold the confidence of the House, he can remain in the position until the end of Parliament’s term,” he said.
During the 52-day political coup, two important court rulings were made. The first was by the Appeal Court that it does not recognize Mahinda Rajapaksa as the PM and the second was by the Supreme Court that Parliament could not be dissolved.
This ruling in the ‘Sampanthan vs Attorney General’ case established that the Executive could not prorogue Parliament according to its own wish. It was later followed by the UK court. Now the Parliament’s powers have been further strengthened,” he pointed out.
Commenting on the national security situation, the PM observed that his government was able to capture all suspects within a short span of time in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks while acting within the ordinary law of the country. “We did not want white vans.
We did not compromise the people’s freedom. If you want both national security and freedom, vote for the Candidate representing our camp. We, in the Government, have been accountable and went before the Commission to give evidence. Since we came to power in 2015, we have established a free society.
If you want this fundamental freedom to be protected for another 5 years then vote for Sajith Premadasa. Otherwise the country will go back to a dark era,” he warned.