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Parliament+convenes+for+the+first+time%2C+following+prime+minister+swearing+in%2C+21+SLFP+MP%E2%80%99s++in+the+opposition%2C+President+summons+UPFA+MPs
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 - 8:08
Parliament convenes for the first time, following prime minister swearing in, 21 SLFP MP’s in the opposition, President summons UPFA MPs
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SLFP MP’s, have decided to take their seats in the opposition and refrain from accepting ministerial posts following a discussion held with the president.

The SLFP group of 21 held discussions under the patronage of president Maithreepala Sirisena at the president's secretariats office yesterday.

Previously, in the coalition government headed by the UNP, the SLFP was represented by 40 MPs.

Subsequently, 16 MPs including S.B Dissanayake, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Susil Premajayantha, and Thilanga Sumathipala resigned from the coalition government.

24 MPs continued to represent the SLFP in the Coalition government; and with MPs Manusha Nanayakkara, A.H.M. Fowzi and Piyasena Gamage, pledging their support to the UNP, the number of SLFP MPs reduced to 21.

those 21 MPs met with the president yesterday to discuss future political proceedings.

Meanwhile, there are 75 MPs representing the UPFA in the joint opposition including the former president.

UNP MPs Ananda Aluthgamage, Dunesh Gankanda and Ashoka Priyantha pledged their support to the former president rajapaske

With the SLFP headed UPFA deciding to withdraw from the coalition government, they are now considered MPs of the opposition.

Accordingly, 96 MPs representing the UPFA will be seated in the opposition today.

Previously the Joint opposition had requested for the position of opposition leader, which was turned down by the speaker as the UPFA was representing the government.

Political sources note that the cabinet of the new government is scheduled to be sworn in later today.

Attending a media briefing yesterday, UNP MP Nalin Bandara stated that the new cabinet has been appointed according to a scientific basis.

According to the 19th amendment to the constitution, the number of cabinet ministers should not exceed 30 and, the number of non cabinet and deputy ministers stands at 40.

However, in a national government the number of cabinet ministerial posts can exceed 30, as a result 40 cabinet ministers took oaths in the coalition government which was established jointly by the United national front and the UPFA.

parliament is to convene for the first time, since prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe took oaths.

The parliament will be convening at 1 this afternoon and a special discussion was held under the patronage of the speaker yesterday regarding the session.

As the new cabinet have yet to take oaths, it was decided that today’s seating arrangements in parliament will be made according to seniority.

Accordingly, the 7th front row seat of the ruling party has been allocated to prime minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, while the seats to the speakers left have been allocated to the opposition. The ruling party will sit to the right  of the speaker.

the UPFA who boycotted recent parliamentary sessions are reportedly scheduled to attend todays session.

A special party leaders meeting is to be held at noon today in order to discuss parliamentary proceedings.

During the meeting, an decision will be made with regards to the appointment of opposition leader of parliament and chief organizer of the opposition.

 
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