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Sunday, 23 August 2015

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Eighth Parliament to convene on Sept 1

The Eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka will convene on September 1 under the new national government formed by the UNP- led United National Front (UNF) for Good Governance and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

The main business of the new Parliament during its inaugural session will be to appoint a Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees for the House. The presidential proclamation convening the inaugural session of the Parliament has already been been issued by President Maithripala Sirisena, top parliamentary sources said yesterday.

The new Parliament will include many new faces from both major political parties, the UNF and the UPFA. Over 60 former parliamentarians who contested the August 17 general election failed to enter Parliament.

This includes 18 former ministers and State ministers, 21 deputy ministers and over 22 UPFA heavyweights. However, five defeated UPFA candidates have been included in the UPFA National List. 

The UNF emerged victorious by securing 106 seats, while the UPFA obtained 95 seats. However, both parties failed to secure an absolute majority in the 225- member Parliament.

According to the election results, the UNP received 13 bonus seats, while the UPFA received 12. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) received two bonus seats each. The composition of the new Parliament remains: UNP (10), UPFA (95), TNA (16), JVP (6), SLMC (1) and EPDP (1).

Meanwhile, the TNA has already declared its intention of being the main opposition party, in the event a national government is formed between the UNP and the SLFP. It has demanded party leader R. Sampanthan, be recognized as the next Leader of the Opposition.

The TNA secured 16 seats. Informed sources said the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet is scheduled to take place tomorrow (24).

The new national government will be formed in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) signed between the UNP and the SLFP on August 21. A Cabinet of 30 ministers and 40 deputy ministers is likely to be appointed, sources said. An Information Counter will be kept open at the Parliamentary Complex from August 24-26 to facilitate all elected members.

All parliamentarians are requested to make use of the facilities as arrangements have been made to provide vital information and documents regarding Parliament procedures.

New members will receive a two-day orientation on 3-4 September.

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