No power to summon parliament -speaker

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 July 2001, 15:49 GMT]
The Speaker announced Sunday that he has no power or authority to inquire into the validity of the prorogation of parliament by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge. "There was no sufficient reasons for me to review the decision of the President to prorogue parliament" Speaker Anura Bandaranaike said in a letter to the Leader of the Opposition Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe.

"The motive for the prorogation of parliament may be opened to objection and criticism. But I do not found it is possible to overrule the proclamation, resummon parliament and to continue with the conduct of parliamentary business" Speaker pointed out.

"I am bound by the Constitution and cannot therefore overstep the limit of my powers " Mr.Anura Bandaranaike told the Opposition Leader.

The Constitution has not conferred on him the jurisdiction, power or authority to inquire into the validity of prorogation of parliament, the Speaker said.

Opposition leaders led by Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe requested the Speaker on Friday to disregard the prorogation ordered by President Chandrika and summon a session Monday, 16 July. They argued that the Speaker could question the validity of prorogation under Article 42 of the Constitution and can summon parliament to question the manner in which the President exercised her powers to see whether there was an abuse of power.

 

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