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Need Legal Opinion: Speaker On No-Confidence Motion Against Gotabaya
Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has refused to admit the no-confidence motion (NCM) against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa immediately, saying that he needs to first consult the Attorney General about its legality. “At the party leaders’ meeting, the Speaker agreed to place the NCM against the Government in the Order Book. But he insisted on consulting the Attorney General about the NCM against the President,” Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) MP and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran told ‘The Morning’. “We repeatedly pointed out that Article 42 of the Constitution makes the President responsible to Parliament and that Standing Order 83 (1) states that a substantive motion is needed to discuss the conduct of the President. However, they seem intent on delaying the NCM against the President.” Sumanthiran said a NCM against the President is equally important as it reflects the demand of the people, who are calling for the resignation of the President. He added that the NCM against the President, if passed, will show that the Parliament has no confidence in the President, and thus, following the democratic tradition, he is duty-bound to step down.