UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that they have a clear majority of 113 and it is MP Mahinda Rajapaksa who took oaths as the new Prime Minister, but he is unable to show his majority even after being given three chances in Parliament.
At a media briefing held at the Temple Trees, Kiriella said that if another Prime Minister is appointed, he firstly should show that he has the majority, but in Rajapaksa’s case, he failed.
Pointing at the Speaker’s power to hold a Parliamentary session anywhere under crisis situation, he said in the 30s when the British Parliament was bombed, the MPs gathered at the nearby Church and the Speaker appointed Winston Churchill as the Premier to form a National Government.
He also claimed that in India, in the ‘90s, Dev Gowda was a Prime Minister for just one week and he had to step down as he could not show a majority in the House. “That’s the traditions of the Parliament,” Kiriella said adding that Speaker Jayasuriya functioned in similar manner and he was 100 per cent accurate in passing the No-Confidence Motion against Rajapaksa.
“Now we challenge MP Rajapaksa to table a suggestion on how they could prove their majority to move forward from this crisis,” he said. Kiriella further said “the only challenge was for them to prove they have a majority to run the Government and prove where and how we have gone wrong in trying to prove that.” We are ready to see how they would prove they have the majority.
Over the unbecoming situation in the Parliament last Thursday and Friday, Kiriella said if Rajapaksa was a genuine leader, he would have taken the floor and stopped his MPs from behaving in an unruly manner. Instead he signalled and ordered them to go ahead with their rioting in the House.”
“How far can we go on like this? he asked saying that the Speaker began the proceeding and ended passing the NCM using his power and not flouting the procedures. “We have seen how he did that. He took a voice vote and that was also suggested by the President. Under the Section 48, the NCM against the Government was defeated, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister cease to exist.
“Then the President has to call the single largest party to form the Government. That is the second step and then that Government should prove that they have the majority, failing which, the Speaker can gather all and form a Government. “The NCM came in due to the crisis when the President dissolved the Parliament.
“On the following day, the House had to reconvene. Under such situation, we wanted to table a NCM stating that the dissolution of the House was against the Constitution. So the normal proceedings are on hold and we called for the NCM. That is an accepted rule during a crisis situation,” he pointed out.