Ajith Mannamperuma to fill Ranjan’s Seat
By J.T. de Silva
The Election Commission (EC) has informed the Gampaha District Returning Officer (GDRO) to name the candidate who had polled the next highest number of preference votes after SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake at the 2020 General Election, after the latter’s Parliamentary Seat fell vacant over him being convicted by the Supreme Court on charges of Contempt of Court.
The EC which convened yesterday had decided to officially inform the GDRO to send the name of the candidate from the said District to fill Ramanayake’s Seat which fell vacant.
EC sources said with Ramanayake not having attended Sittings for three successive months his Parliamentary seat had fallen vacant with effect from 6 April.
Consequently, the Secretary General of Parliament had officially informed the EC in writing that based on provisions contained in Section 64 (1) of the Parliament Election Act No. 1 of 1981 a vacancy had been created due to the MP’s seat falling vacant.
The Secretary General of Parliament further stated that the actor turned politician’s Parliamentary seat had fallen vacant according to provisions contained in Article 66 of the Constitution.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa had urged the Speaker to grant a three month leave approval to the incarcerated MP several times in Parliament.
The Opposition Leader also made the same request on 6 April as well but the Government did not accept it and as his leave was not approved his seat fell vacant with effect from the said date.
Sources said his nearest challenger on the SJB ticket for the Gampaha District, Ajith Mannamperuma, would likely fill Ramanayake’s seat.
EC sources said the Gazette Notification to this effect would be published today. Meanwhile, the petition filed by Ramanayake against the suspension of his Parliamentary seat by the Secretary General of Parliament was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 5 April.