|Thursday, 24 January 2002|
by our Parliament correspondent
The issue of the appointment of a Deputy Speaker to Parliament surfaced again yesterday when MEP leader MP Dinesh Gunewardena rose to a point of order to observe that the House cannot proceed with public business without first disposing off with the business of appointing a Deputy Speaker.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the Chair that the UNP Parliamentary Group had already decided, in keeping with convention to offer the post of Deputy Speaker to the Opposition. Speaker Joseph Michael Perera then told the House that it was still not too late for the Opposition to make up their mind and suggested that Mr. Gunawardena propose a name for the post of Deputy Speaker or take up the post himself. The MP declined.
Since there were no takers from the Opposition, Speaker Joseph Michael Perera stated that he would oversee the functions of the Deputy Speaker until the appointment was made.
Produced by Lake House