Prez tells UPFA: Ready to show majority if no-faith motion moved properly

President Maithripala Sirisena reportedly asked the parliamentary group of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to be ready to show majority in Parliament if a no-confidence motion were brought through the proper procedure.

He had a meeting with the UPFA group only on Friday. He said he
would not back down from his position on the formation of the new government at any cost.

The President said he would not reappoint UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister under any circumstance.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement outlining the procedure to be followed in bringing a no-confidence motion. Accordingly, a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister should be handed over to the Speaker with signatures of at least 20 Members of Parliament.

The Speaker is then required to verify the legality of such motion through the Secretary General of Parliament. The Secretary General of the Parliament is required to inform the Speaker that the motion is consistent with the Standing Orders.

The motion should be then recorded in the Order Book. The relevant Order Book should be then printed and distributed among all Members of Parliament on the first Friday following recording in the Order Book. The motion should then be taken up for debate in Parliament after five working days.

Matters stated in the Order Book should be taken in to consideration by the Committee on Parliamentary Business headed by the Speaker and comprising of members from the governing party including the Leader of the House and Chief Government Whip.

There will be another group of MPs representing the Opposition including the Leader of the Opposition. In addition, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairperson of Committees are members of this committee. The priority of the government matters in the Order Book is decided by the Leader of the House.

Once such a no-confidence motion is entered in the Order Book, the most recent date for it to be debated in the Parliament should be agreed upon, with the concurrence of the Leader of the House and the governing party.

The motion should be entered in to the agenda of the relevant day and it should be announced that the motion will be taken up for debate on such a date.

The Committee on Parliamentary Business should decide on the duration's to be allocated to the governing party and the opposition to debate the no-confidence motion.

The debate should be conducted on the relevant date and a vote should be taken and the results should be announced. The Hansard should be issued detailing the day’s proceedings. (Kelum Bandara)