Parliament convened at 1.00pm today, chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasooriya.
Mahinda Rajapakse was appointed as the Opposition Leader of Parliament. Speaker Karu Jayasooriya announced, in accordance with Parliamentary Traditions, Mahinda Rajapakse has been recognized as Opposition Leader.
Mahinda Amaraweera is the Chief Opposition Whip.
Lakshman Kiriella is the Leader of the House, while Gayantha Karunathilleka is the Chief Government Whip.
The Tamil National Alliance objects to the appointment of Former President Mahinda Rajapakse to the post of Opposition Leader. Parliamentarian: M Sumanthiran says, once an individual enters Parliament, if the individual changes his political party, the seat falls vacant. He called on the Speaker to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to take a decision in this regard. Leader of the House Lakshman: Kiriella said, since Mr. Rajapakse is the leader of a different party, constitutionally he cannot be appointed to the post of Opposition Leader.
However, Parliamentarian Susil Premajayantha pointed out, there are no MPs in Parliament who have contested on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party ticket. He pointed out, the majority of the Opposition including himself have entered parliament upon contesting under the United People’s Freedom Alliance. Therefore, there is no issue in this regard.