2 November 2018
- MR’s statement of reconvening P’ment on Monday contradicted [b]by others[/b]
- Deputy Speaker confirms no P’ment on 5 Nov.
- Uncertainty over date continues
- Speaker to meet party leaders today
- UNP says Speaker did not recognise MR as PM during meeting with President
- No decision on giving MR Prime Minister’s Chair
In the absence of an official announcement by President Maithripala Sirisena regarding reconvening of Parliament, confusion reigned with different dates being quoted by different politicians depending on their political affiliations.
The first announcement of a possible change in the date to reconvene Parliament was made by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the new Prime Minister appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena, during a discussion with university professors last morning. Rajapaksa, quoting Sirisena, confirmed that Parliament will be reconvened on 5 November.
“I believe Parliament will be reconvened on 5 November. The President has decided to reconvene the Parliament on 5 November,” said Rajapaksa, who ascended to the post of Prime Minister following the sacking of sitting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the meeting.
However, this was later revised to be either 5 or 7 November. The decision came after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Wednesday met the President with a renewed call to reconvene Parliament.
The United National Party (UNP), led by ousted Premier Wickremesinghe, considered the announcement a victory for democracy.
“We thank Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for his efforts to get Parliament convened before 16 November. We can say that we have won round one in our battle for democracy in this country,” UNP MP Ajith P. Perera stated at a media briefing held at Temple Trees last morning.
However, as the day progressed, uncertainty set in with UNP politicians saying Parliament will be reconvened either on 5 or 7 November. By evening, it was unclear if the date had been advanced at all.
Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala told Daily FT that Parliament will not convene on 5 November, but failed to clarify when the revised date would be. The Speaker’s Office, too, said that they are yet to receive any official confirmation on the date being revised.