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POSTED AT 07:56 AM 02-02-2019

Proposal to form national govt outrageous: SLPP

Yesterday’s proposal made by the UNP to form a national government was not only illegal but also outrageous, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) alleged.

Its Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris told the Daily Mirror that the need of the hour was to address the urgent problems, such as unhealthy taxation and the issue of fall armyworm , which are piling up and not receiving the attention they deserve.

“This is not the priority at all. This is for no other purpose than to enlarge the size of the cabinet so more people can enjoy perks and privileges. That is the sole objective. During the few months that remain, they want to enjoy as many perks and privileges as possible. This is not something the country needs,” Prof. Peiris said.

In terms of legality, he said the proposal was contrary to the Constitution as the 19th Amendment had limited the number of cabinet ministers to a maximum of 30.

“According to the Constitution, a national government means a government formed by the recognised political party or the independent group which obtains the highest number of parliament seats together with the other recognized political parties or the independent groups. The party, the government hopes to join, should contest under a different symbol. The UNF and SLMC MPs, except for one, contested under the same symbol of elephant. They are not separate parties. Only one MP originally contested under the SLMC symbol of ‘tree’. Is this the meaning of the 19th amendment?,” he said.

“If the government is trying to form a national government with SLFP MPs who joined it, it is also not possible. Unless the UNP and SLFP sign an agreement, a national government cannot be formed,” he said. 

Lahiru Pothmulla

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