BY Pamodi Waravita
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday (5) refused to enter the no-confidence motion (NCM) against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa into the Order Book of the Parliament immediately, stating that he needs to first consult the Attorney General about its legality, while the NCM against the Government will be placed in the Order Book of the Parliament today (6).
“At the party leaders’ meeting, the Speaker agreed to place the NCM against the Government in the Order Book. But he insisted on consulting the Attorney General about the NCM against the President,” Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) MP and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran PC told The Morning yesterday (5).
“We repeatedly pointed out that Article 42 of the Constitution makes the President responsible to Parliament and that Standing Order 83 (1) states that a substantive motion is needed to discuss the conduct of the President. However, they seem intent on delaying the NCM against the President.”
He Tweeted yesterday that “the fact that there is another remedy, namely impeachment, for certain wrong-doings of the President, does not mean that Parliament cannot pass a Motion expressing its lack of confidence in the President”.
“One does not need legal advice to know this!!” Sumanthiran stressed in his Tweet.
The two NCMs were handed over to the Speaker by the Samagi Jana Balawegeya (SJB) on 3 May.
Earlier, the SJB had claimed that it would be able to garner enough votes to defeat the present Government through an NCM in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Sumanthiran earlier told The Morning that a NCM against the President is equally important as it reflects the demands of the struggles of the public, who are calling for the resignation of the President. He added that the NCM against the President, if passed, will show that the Parliament has no confidence in the President, and thus, following the democratic tradition, he is duty bound to step down.