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“JVP, TNA are two parties representing opposition” :Vijitha on opposition leader appointment

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JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath has expressed the view that Speaker has to take cognizance of the fact that Janatha Vimukthy Peramuna and Tamil National Alliance are the two parties that represent the opposition in the Parliament today in making a determination on the appointment of the opposition leader.

 Speaking to the media, he stated as follows:It is up to the Speaker to make the final decision regarding this. At present TNA musters the majority seats in the Opposition. According to mathematics, the Opposition Leader's post should go to the TNA. But the majority of people's aspirations and the genuine role of the Opposition is fulfilled by the JVP. Therefore, the genuine Opposition Leader should be JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. If the TNA also expresses its satisfaction, Dissanayake would take up that challenge.

 The Opposition Leader represents the SLFP. Some SLFP MPs joined the Government and obtained ministerial portfolios following a decision taken by the SLFP Central Committee. Therefore, the SLFP has no moral right to hold ministerial portfolios and the Opposition Leader post at the same time because it would set a wrong precedence.

A group of SLFP MPs have also proposed MP Dinesh Gunawardena's name to the post of Opposition Leader. But they have no ability to propose his name as he also represents the UPFA coalition and he is also an integral partner of the Government.  The incumbent Opposition Leader has no authority to fulfill the duties of his post while MP Dinesh Gunawardena cannot also be nominated to that post as he is also a constituent partner of the UPFA. At present the genuine Opposition is represented by the JVP and the TNA.

We have requested the Speaker to select a suitable person from the TNA or the JVP as the Opposition Leader. We didn't request the Speaker to give the Opposition Leader's post to us.

What is more appropriate is to elect an Opposition Leader based on the consensus reached between these two parties. If the TNA is ready to give the Opposition Leader's portfolio to the JVP, we are ready to accept it.

Opposition parties didn't have big issue with the former Opposition Leader as he just performed his duties during that period. But this is an entirely new situation created after a group of SLFP MPs joined the so called National Government and obtained portfolios. Actually this is a coalition government. A section of the coalition sits in the opposition while the other sits in the government. This is not a healthy situation for democracy. This is the first time in our political history such as volatile political situation has been created.

Under these circumstances, electing the Opposition Leader has turned into a big controversy. This wrong tradition should be stopped. If not this bad precedence would pave the way for a political party to gain the Opposition Leader's post and ministerial portfolios. At present an unprecedented political situation has cropped in the House. Therefore, it cannot be compared with the situation which prevailed in Parliament over the past 11 years."

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