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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2423

A 12-step standard procedure should be followed in a No Confidence Motion – PM Office

Colombo, 17 November, (Asiantribune.com):

A 12-step standard procedure should be followed by the parliament when constitutionally passing a No-confidence Motion (NCM) against a prime minister. In the case of a No Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister, a No Confidence Motion should be first handed over to the speaker with at least 20 signatures.

In a statement, released yesterday (16 November) by Prime Minister’s Secretary S. Amarasekara said the parliament needs to follow the proper legal procedure to move a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister and approve it.

According to the proper procedure outlined in the communiqué the no-confidence motion against a prime minister should be signed by a minimum of 20 parliamentarians and handed over to the Speaker.

“The second step is Speaker Consulting Parliament General Secretary over the legality of the NCM. If the Secretary says it is legal, the NCM should be included in the Order Book. The book should be printed on a Friday and then should be distributed among all the MPS. After five working days, the NCM should be given the opportunity to be taken up for a debate,” Mr. Amarasekara said.

A vote should be taken following the debate.

Following is the Communiqué issued by the Prime Minister's Office

1. The No-Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister should be handed over to the Speaker. This should have been signed by a minimum 20 MPs.

2. The Speaker should inquire the legality of this Motion through the Secretary General of Parliament.

3. The Secretary General of the Parliament should inform the Speaker that the Motion is constitutional and is in accordance with the Standing Orders of Parliament.

4. That Motion should be included into the Order Book of the Parliament.

5. The Order Book should be printed on Friday and given to all MPs.

6. The opportunity to debate the Motion in Parliament should be made after five working days.

7. The Committee on Parliamentary Business should consider the businesses mentioned in the Order Book and decide on what should be given priority.

This committee is headed by the Speaker and will comprise the Leader of the House, Chief Government Whip and a group of MPs from the parties representing the government.

Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of the Committees are also the members of this committee. Accordingly, the Leader of the House shall decide the priority given to the business of the government mentioned in the Order Book.

8. When a No-Confidence Motion is included into the Order Book, the most possible and the nearest day should be decided to debate the Motion on the concurrence of the Leader of the House and the governing party.

9. It should be informed that this Motion would be included in the Order Paper and debated on that particular day.

10. The Committee on Parliamentary Business should decide the duration given to both government and the Opposition parties to debate the No-Confidence Motion.

11. The debate, division and announcing of the result should be done on that particular day.

12. The Hansard on the parliamentary debate of that day should be issued. All these steps should be taken in accordance with the Constitution, the Standing Orders of Parliament, parliamentary tradition and the procedures.
Amarasekara said in the statement that all these steps should be conducted in a constitutional manner following the Standing Orders and parliamentary traditions.

In the meantime, Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukawela has repeatedly pointed out that the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration cannot accept the two No Confidence Motions passed this week, because they were adopted in violation of established parliamentary rules.

On both occasions, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had entertained and conducted the voting on the No Confidence Motion moved on behalf of the opposition by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in violation of the rules.

The opposition, however, contended that the violence unleashed by the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Front (UPFA) led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was the reason for the non-observance of the rules and the adoption of the motion by voice vote amidst chaos and din.

But it is argued that on behalf of the government that commotion and even violence in the House could not be an excuse for flouting set procedures. Parliament could have been adjourned and any issues (like the demand for the arrest of two opposition MPs who had brought knives into the chamber) could have been sorted out through discussions.

- Asian Tribune -

A 12-step standard procedure should be followed in a No Confidence Motion – PM Office
A 12-step standard procedure should be followed in a No Confidence Motion – PM Office
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