SRILANKAN NEWS

If Vote on Account defeated – President can dissolve Parliament: Wijeyadasa

Newly-sworn in Education and Higher Education Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today President Maithripala Sirisena had ‘inherent powers’ to dissolve Parliament in case the Vote on Account to be presented by the new government was defeated.

He told a hurriedly summoned news conference that the foremost task of the new government was the presentation of a Vote on Account to appropriate finances for the operation of government for an interim period.

The minister, who was one of the four UNP MPs to join the new government of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the President had such powers to dissolve Parliament without waiting for four and half years under conventional practices enshrined in the Westminster System.

“If the Vote on Account is not approved by Parliament, there will arise a situation where the government is unable to function. The President can opt to dissolve Parliament to resuscitate the country from an anarchic situation. That is not a written law but a conventional practice,” he said and added that in the alternative the President could dissolve Parliament only after four and half years of being formed.

“105 UNP MPs were elected at the 2015 elections. If there is a snap general election it will be reduced to 40 or 50,” he said.

Kandy district MP Ananda Aluthgamage who joined the government from the UNP told the news conference that enough and more MPs would join the new government and added that as a new comer to the UNP he was disillusioned with the party within a couple of months.

He was sworn in as the State Minister of Tourism and Wildlife.