To fight for Opposition Leader post : JO MPs to quit UPFA? | Sunday Observer

To fight for Opposition Leader post : JO MPs to quit UPFA?

Joint Opposition (JO) parliamentarians may quit the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the coming week launching yet another bid to secure the leadership of the Opposition. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, JO frontliner Dullas Alahapperuma said if the Joint Opposition party leaders who are scheduled to meet on Tuesday (14) unanimously endorse the decision to quit the UPFA steps will be taken to give effect to that decision with immediate effect. Accordingly 70 MPs in the Joint Opposition (JO) could breakaway to form an independent group.

MP Alahapperuma said his personal point of view is that the JO should quit the UPFA and act as an independent group in Parliament which would eventually urge the Speaker to offer the Leader of the Opposition post to the JO. However, this proposal will be submitted to the Tuesday’s JO Party Leader’s meeting.

The JO has already complained to the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) regarding the issue of the Opposition Leader. “Nearly 50 percent of the people have voted for us and we cannot let their mandate go unheeded in Parliament,” he said.

The JO heavyweight said the reply from the Speaker was expected.

“We only wanted to show how unjust the incumbent Speaker is” he said adding that if their positions as UPFA MPs in Parliament poses an obstacle they would not hesitate to take a decision regarding it.

Making a special announcement in Parliament on Friday (August 10), Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that his final decision is that the constitutional and Parliamentary tradition did not warrant him to effect any change in the post of the Opposition Leader. However, he assured that he would allocate more time and provide more space in Parliamentary Committees for the JO in keeping with the number of MPs in its ranks. The Speaker also made it clear that the Opposition Leader post should be held by a person who is not from a political party representing the Government.

He pointed out the Parliamentary Resolution adopted on September 03, 2015 clearly stated that the UNP and UPFA were partners of the present National Government.