Opp Leader post: Despite sound and fury, no official request : JO parliamentary group to decide tomorrow | Sunday Observer

Opp Leader post: Despite sound and fury, no official request : JO parliamentary group to decide tomorrow

The Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday said that their parliamentary group will decide tomorrow whether to make a formal request to the Speaker demanding the posts of Opposition Leader and the Chief Opposition Whip.

Following the SLPP performance at the February 10 LG polls, the JO frontliners at several public fora demanded that the posts of Opposition Leader and Chief Opposition Whip should be given to them as they command the majority of MPs in the Opposition.

However, parliamentary sources confirmed that no formal request has been made by the JO so far to the Speaker regarding this matter and added that since the JO MPs were also a part of the SLFP-led UPFA coalition, there was no possibility of giving the Opposition Leader and Chief Opposition Whip posts to the JO.

“If the JO wants to accept these two portfolios, either they should quit the UPFA and act as a separate group in Parliament or the UPFA MPs in the Government should leave the Government,” the sources said.

JO frontliner and UPFA Ratnapura District MP Ranjith de Zoysa told the Sunday Observer though they were elected to Parliament on the UPFA ticket, all MPs in the JO have voted against the Budget and some Bills presented to Parliament by the Government.

Even when the SLFP-led UPFA contested the recently concluded LG elections from betel leaf and hand symbols, the JO launched its election campaign by contesting under the Pohottuwa symbol of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, he said.

MP Zoysa said under the 100-day program of this Government, when MP Nimal Siripala de Silva was appointed as the Opposition Leader, some of the UPFA MPs functioned as the Ministers of the Government.

Meanwhile, former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaka told the media, on his way to Parliament last week, that he did not ask for post of Prime Minister but that of the Leader of the Opposition.

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