Follow UK House of Commons when Constitution unclear: Kiriella

Coming up with a fresh argument on what should be done to resolve the present political crisis, the United National Party (UNP) yesterday said Sri Lankan Parliament was bound to follow the tradition of House of Commons of the UK when the Sri Lankan Constitution is unclear about certain situations.

This was expressed by UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella at a media briefing last morning.

Mr Kiriella said the House was bound to follow Section 7 of Parliament Powers and Privileges Act where it said the House was bound to follow the tradition of the House of Commons when the local constitution was unclear on certain situations.

“Parliament and members thereof shall hold, enjoy and exercise, in addition to the privileges, immunities and powers conferred by this Act, such and like immunities as are for the time being held, enjoyed and exercised by the Commons House of Parliament of United Kingdom,” the MP said reading out Section 7 of Parliament Powers and Privileges Act.

Accordingly, he said the tradition followed by the House of Commons when it comes to the appointment of a Prime Minister was that the person who held the majority was given the post.

Therefore he said President Maithripala Sirisena should appoint the person who commanded a majority in the House as the Prime Minister.

He said Secretaries to Ministries ceased to hold office upon a dissolution if the Cabinet under the Provisions of the Constitution or upon a determination by the President under the Article 43 or 44 which results in the Ministry ceasing to exist.

Mr Kiriella, therefore, said a Cabinet does not exist at the moment Speaker announced that it does not exist with the approval of the No Confidence Motion against the present regime.

“In such circumstances Secretaries cannot carry out any function at the moment,” he said.

Referring to the request that had been made by the venerable Mahanayakes to set up a Caretaker Government under newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe could not be fulfilled as there were no provisions for such a Government in the Constitution.

UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna who also participated at the briefing said the Mahanayake Theras had expressed their displeasure over the present political crisis.

He said they expressed their displeasure when the UNP delegation met them on Tuesday. (Yohan Perera)

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