Sri Lankan Speaker decides not to recognize new PM in Parliament

Sri Lanka’s Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has decided to maintain the status quo in Parliament before it was prorogued by the country’s President recently. As a result new Prime Minister...

Sri Lanka’s Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has decided to maintain the status quo in Parliament before it was prorogued by the country’s President recently.

As a result new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be given the Prime Minister seat in Parliament as the current Government members will need to sit in the opposition seats when Parliament reconvenes on November 14th.

The Speaker said that he took the decision as a majority of members in Parliament had submitted a petition to him stating that the changes made in Parliament recently are unconstitutional.

Jayasuriya had earlier decided to give Rajapaksa the Prime Minister’s seat in Parliament after he was appointed Prime Minister.

However, in a statement on Monday, the Speaker said that he received a motion signed by 116 MPs stating that they cannot accept the decision taken by the President.

The Speaker said that he feels the concern raised by the MPs is justifiable and so he will not make any changes in Parliament till one party or the other shows it has the majority in Parliament to form a Government.

Jayasuriya also recalled that he made several requests for Parliament to be reconvened early in order to resolve the crisis.

The Speaker expected Parliament to reconvene on November 7th. However President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday issued notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14th. 

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