BY Thameenah Razeek
Former Minister Udaya Gammanpila yesterday (29), alleged that Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has been misled about the time period when Parliament could be dissolved and stressed they were attempting to dissolve Parliament to give the people the opportunity to choose the Government they want.
Gammanpila also said, the Speaker said Parliament could not be dissolved for two-and-a-half-years and claimed that the Speaker had been given incorrect information.
“Due to incorrect information given to the Speaker, the latter said Parliament could be dissolved after two-and-a-half-years on the President’s approval. However, Parliament could be dissolved at any time if it is so desired. This is stated in the Constitution. I will read the sentence out loud. ‘Unless Parliament passes a resolution calling on the President to dissolve Parliament in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d), the President shall not dissolve Parliament until two years and not less than six months from the date of the first Sitting of Parliament’,” he explained.
He said, Parliament could request the President to dissolve Parliament at any time. The President will then have to dissolve Parliament.
“The President will have to wait until 3 March 2023, to dissolve Parliament. However, Article 70/1 (a) of the Constitution makes it abundantly clear that Parliament can pass a resolution and dissolve Parliament at any time. As a result, while we are carrying out the project to dissolve Parliament, the people have begun to learn about parliamentarians who supported Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s treacherous and corrupt programme,” Gammanpila said.
Speaking further he said, the Government has spread such a lie to mislead the Speaker.
“In fact, the quorum in Parliament is 20. Parliament can be dissolved even if 20 members sit and eleven are not in favour,” Gammanpila said.