Third reading of the Budget 2015 passed in Parliament with a majority of 95 votes.
Of the 225 MPs in the house, 152 members voted for the Budget while 57 voted against. Fifteen MPs, including the government MPs supporting Maithripala Sirisena, were absent today.
Minister Sumedha Jayasena was absent in the Parliameny when the vote was taken. It was widely speculated that she was going to cross over, supporting common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. The JHU MPs too were absent during the vote which was taken by name.
Some UNP Mps, including Karu Jayasuriya and Lakshman Kiriella, were not present in the house as they were touring in Kandy with Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. However, the notable absentee of the day was the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena who was in Kandy and Anuradhapura today.
Sirisena announced that he would not be present in the Parliament during the third reading vote on the budget.
Only the opposition parties voted against the budget.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa today challenged the opposition to defeat the government’s budget to show their strength. Speaking at a UPFA meeting Basil Rajapaksa challenged all those who are rumored to crossover to go ahead and overturn the Budget 2015’s third reading in the Parliament. “No need to wait until January 8 if the opposition say that they know of others who will crossover, why not use them to defeatthe budget? No matter how many traitors are there we will win the 2015 budget, setting aside the Presidential Election itself”, the Minister said.