Former President Maithripala Sirisena today (Nov. 25) made a statement in Parliament challenging the two-thirds majority of the current government.
The former President made this statement in response to a statement made by the Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluth Gamage comparing the expenditure incurred during his tenure with the current President's Annual Expenditure Head.
He emphasized that the two-thirds majority in the current government was "in the hands of the 14 members of the SLFP."
He therefore stressed the need to think more intelligently about the possible consequences of attempts to create internal conflicts within the two-thirds majority.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party is a partner party in the current government led by the Sri Lanka People's Front and has 14 members representing the government.
The second reading of the Appropriation Bill introduced by the Government for the year 2022 was also able to pass with a majority of votes with the support of the Members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
153 votes were cast in favor of the budget while 60 votes were cast against it.
Accordingly, the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill was passed by a majority of 93 votes.
If the SLFP did not get 14 votes in favor of the budget in the relevant election, the number of votes cast in favor would be 139.
For a government to have a two-thirds majority, the minimum number of members required is 150.
Accordingly, without the 14 members of the SLFP, the government would have only a simple majority.
It is clear, therefore, that the support of the SLFP is essential for the current government to retain its two-thirds majority.
In this regard, mawbima.lk inquired from Dr. Visakha Sooriyabandara, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
She said that if the SLFP left the government, there would be an issue regarding the dominance of the government.
She also pointed out that it could affect many of the activities that the government intends to implement, including the introduction of a new constitution.
She said that as a result, if the SLFP leaves the government, the government will feel the impact of a larger party.
She pointed out that it was not only for the two-thirds majority but also for the implementation of the state machinery that the government was facing a number of crises.
Ms. Sooriyabandara stressed that this raises the question of the legitimacy of the government.