Sri Lanka's Parliament meets for crucial session after Opposition submits no-trust motions against President, Governmenttext_fields
Colombo: Amid the ongoing economic crisis, Sri Lanka's Parliament met today for a crucial session as the two no-confidence motions against the President and the government by the opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) are likely to be taken up.
The Parliament met today for the first of eight sittings this month.
This comes at a time when Sri Lanka's main opposition party SJB on Tuesday handed over two no-confidence motions against the government and the President to the Speaker at his official residence.
"We met the Speaker at his residence and handed over two no-trust motions, the first one against the President under Article 42 of the Constitution and the other against the government," Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said.
SJB handed it over even as the government announced the appointment of a Cabinet sub-committee to look into the proposal for a new Constitution.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had proposed to amend the Constitution to create an accountable administration that met the people's aspirations, amid large-scale protests against the government over its handling of the economy.
Meanwhile, analysts have said that a possible secret vote on Wednesday in parliament for the deputy speaker's position could become vital to prove the majority in the House.
The SJB said they would field a candidate for the post of Deputy Speaker of Parliament which has fallen vacant with the resignation of the incumbent Ranjith Siyamabalapitiya.
"We will be fielding our candidate for the position (deputy speaker) if the Speaker announces it today," Harshana Rajakaruna, a main opposition SJB legislator told reporters.
The vote would only be possible if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa acknowledges Siyambalapitiya's resignation.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is also expected to make an announcement on Wednesday, the ruling party sources said. He is expected to announce that he would not be resigning his position as he still commands the majority in the House, they said.
Meanwhile, the main Tamil party along with the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) are to jointly move a no-trust motion against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which would imply that the House had lost confidence in the President. The TNA/UNP motion has no legal binding for the President to resign.
"This problem can only be solved if either the President or the Prime Minister resigned. It is up to them to make a decision," former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.
Experts said if the government would be defeated in the SJB motion, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet would have to resign.