Opposition Leader attempting to mislead public – Speaker
By Gagani Weerakoon & Methmalie Dissanayake
Following the heated exchange that erupted in the Chamber yesterday (7), over Ranjan Ramanayake’s Parliamentary Seat; Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena issued a statement alleging that the Opposition Leader and the Opposition was attempting to mislead the public concerning this matter.
He said, “Ramanayake’s seat was lost under Section 66(d) of the Constitution. However, the Opposition is trying to mislead the public by claiming he lost the seat under the Article 66(f) of the Constitution. This is a wrong interpretation of my statement delivered in the House.”
Furthermore, the Speaker rejected allegations that he was biased and favouring the Government.
“During the former Government, the Opposition had been given only 20 per cent of total time to speak. However, I corrected that practice and allocated 40 per cent of the time to them. It is up to them to use that time in a fruitful way. They should not mislead the public like this,” the Speaker said.
Article 66(d) of the Constitution says, the seat of an MP shall become vacant if he becomes subject to any specification in Article 89 or 91.While, Article 66(f) says the seat of an MP shall become vacant if, without the leave of Parliament being obtained, he absents himself from Sittings for a continuous period of three months.
The Speaker on the same day announced that Ramanayake’s seat falls vacant under Article 66(d) of the Constitution.