Colombo Telegraph

UNP Postpones National Government Motion Due To “Procedural Issue”: Debate To Be Held Later This Month

The United National Party will take up the motion to form a national government at a parliamentary session later this month.

Although the party was ready to debate the motion in the House today, the idea was abandoned at the last moment due to a procedural issue, party sources said.

“Usually, when a motion is presented to the Speaker, we have to wait for five working days to debate it and hold a vote. If we want to pass a motion sooner than that, we have to suspend Standing Orders and go for a vote. We did not want to suspend Standing Orders and debate the motion on the national government today. We, therefore, decided to postpone the matter and debate the motion later according to Standing Orders. It will be taken up at a future session later this month,” Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said.

However, Chief Government Whip Gayantha Karunathilaka yesterday sent letters to all ruling party MPs saying it was mandatory to vote in favour of the motion today. The decision to postpone a motion at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last night.

In his Independence Day speech earlier this week, President Maithripala Sirisena hit out at the UNP’s motion to form a national government saying it was an “unacceptable attempt”.

“From what I saw in the media, there is a plan to form a national government with the support of a party that has only one seat in Parliament. It is important to think whether such an act is ethical,” Sirisena said, addressing the ceremony.

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