UPFA seeks to ensure majority in parliament
[TamilNet, Monday, 17 May 2004, 05:24 GMT]
The minority United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government has been holding intensive discussions with a few selected leaders of small political parties represented in parliament to ensure majority to elect the Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of Committees when Sri Lanka's parliament is scheduled to meet May 18th morning, political sources said.
Meanwhile, the twenty-two member-strong Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group would officially meet Tuesday morning in the parliamentary complex few hours before the commencement of the parliamentary session to decide their course of future action in parliament, said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the TNA.
Most of the parliamentarians of the TNA have already arrived in Colombo and have been holding unofficial discussions among them in planning their next strategy when parliament resumes its sittings Tuesday, sources said.
In the meantime, the leaderships of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), constituents of the main opposition United National Front (UNF), are also to meet Tuesday to decide their course of action, amid speculation in Colombo political circles that these parties would vote with the UPFA government in the election of Deputy Speaker, Chairman of Committees and members of ministerial consultative committees in the new parliament, sources said.
However, the UNP is reported to have decided to allow the nominee of the government to be elected Deputy Speaker without contest, reliable UNP source said.
UPFA sources said a member of the CWC parliamentary group is expected to be nominated for Deputy Speaker post as a common candidate. Earlier Mr.Muthu Sivalingam of the CWC was tipped for the post, sources said.