The Centre for Policy Alternatives has filed a Fundamental Rights petition challenging the appointment of Dhammika Perera as a Member of Parliament.
The name of businessman Dhammika Perera was gazetted by the Elections Commission last week to fill the vacant National List seat of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna in Parliament.
The seat fell vacant following the resignation of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa from his National List seat.
Today, the CPA and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu filed a Fundamental Rights petition challenging the appointment of Dhammika Perera, as a Member of Parliament elected under Article 99A of the Constitution.
In accordance with Article 99A of the Constitution, the CPA maintains that a person is only entitled to be nominated to fill such a vacancy if their name was included in the district nomination papers or national list submitted by the relevant political party.
The CPA through its petition stated that Dhammika Perera’s name was not on the list submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna to the Election Commission under Article 99A of the Constitution or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district by the SLPP for the General Election held in 2020.
Petitioners also highlight the appearance of conflicts of interest caused by Perera’s appointment as a Member of Parliament and possibly a Cabinet Minister, due to his ownership in a multitude of different business ventures.
The CPA further maintains that the appointment constitutes an infringement and continuous infringement of the fundamental rights of the People of Sri Lanka guaranteed under Articles 10 and 12 of the Constitution.