Jun 09, 2019

Parliament session to end? Featured

Reports citing that president Maithripala Sirisena will bring the second session of the eight parliament to an abrupt end are baseless, a spokesman from the presidential secretariat clarifies.

Speaking to 'Sri Lanka Mirror', the spokesperson added that these reports are based on the president's firm statement at the sudden cabinet meeting held on the Easter Sunday attacks. Reports cited that the president has reportedly threatened not to support the government or attend cabinet meetings if he is targeted due to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks.

However, according to the Article 70 of the constitution, the president is vested with the powers to end the parliament session.

In accordance with the constitution and parliament tradition, all main parliamentary committees including the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) will be dissolved.

Also, Bills that have been included in the parliament agenda, but not gone through the first reading too, will be deemed null and void.

Will end Maithri's politics
Speaking, a senior minister of the UNP said that if the president will take such a decision based merely on a whim, measures will be taken against the president together with all other parties.

If the president does decide to adjourn the current parliament session, it will be the end of his politics, the minister added.

We expect that the president will not boycott the cabinet meeting, he further said.

Meanwhile, MP Jayampathy Wickramaratne states that investigations of parliament select committees will not end due to an abrupt ending of a parliament session as noted by Article 109 of Standing Orders as follows :

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Therefore, investigations by the committee appointed to probe on the Easter Sunday bombings will continue even though the president adjourns parliament, as the committee is a parliament select committee, he explains.

2nd session of 8th parliament
The second session of the 8th parliament of Sri Lanka commenced on Nov. 16 after the brief government change came to be known as the 'constitutional coup' took place in October 26.

Sudden election
Meanwhile, the 'Deshaya' newspaper reports that the president has had initial discussions with the PM and opposition leader over calling for an early election to banish the prevailing political instability.

The report also says that while the PM has yet to voice his stance, the president and the opposition leader - Mahinda Rajapaksa have come to an agreement to back an early election, should it be announced.

However, this would require a special motion to be passed in parliament. If all main parties are in consensus, passing the motion would not be met with any hindrance. However, it is reported that UNP backbenchers and the party deputy leader - Sajith Premadasa do not agree to the proposition of an early election.