Supplementary estimate that caused voting fiasco passed without a vote

By Saman Indrajith

The Supplementary Estimate of Rs 55 million which led to a voting fiasco on May 05 was passed without a vote in Parliament yesterday as the Opposition failed to call for a division on time.

The Supplementary Estimate was moved by Leader of the House and Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella and the Speaker asked whether the House agreed. As there was no objections at that point, the Speaker announced that it had been passed.

However, when the Speaker was moving to the next item on the order paper, MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena said that they had called for a division on the Supplementary Estimate. But, Speaker Jayasuriya rejected his call, stating that it had already been passed and it was too late to ask for a vote.

MP Gunawardena continued to raise objections.

The Speaker observing that the Supplementary Estimate had been presented again following an agreement of all the Party Leaders and there should be no further debate on that issue.

"I appointed an erudite committee in this regard and they pointed out to me that there had been a confusing environment during the vote. Therefore, we decided to present it again with the concurrent of the Party Leaders. The government was flexible enough to heed the Opposition’s position on the matter. MP Dinesh Gunawardena said that he had to discuss with his team and said that he would inform their decision to me later. Thereafter MP Gunawardena met me in my office room in Parliament on Thursday morning and informed me that they, too, were agreeable to the arrangement. Now, do not mislead the people."

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