The names of Parliamentarians Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Imthiaz Bakeer Markar have been nominated to the post of Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
A vote will be taken in Parliament shortly to appoint a new Deputy Speaker. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, who previously served in the role, resigned on the 30th of April.
Speaker of House Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says when called by the Deputy Secretary-General of Parliament according to the seating list, the relevant Parliamentarian must obtain the ballot paper from the Assistant Secretary-General.
The Speaker said when casting the vote, according to the Standing Orders, MPs must accurately note down the relevant candidate’s name on top of the ballot and sign at the bottom.
Speaker Abeywardena said a vote will be rejected according to Standing Orders if the above conditions are not met.
Speaking in Parliament today, Chief Opposition Whip Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said the ballot will not remain a secret when MPs sign their names and therefore called for votes to be cast through the electronic mechanism.
Responding to the MP, Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the same voting system was used when voting for the nominees for Deputy Speaker, MPs Ananda Kumarasiri and Sudarshini Fernandopulle during the 15th Parliament from 2015 to 2020.
Joining the debate, MP Eran Wickramaratne called for the ballots to be destroyed publicly before the Parliament in order to ensure the public’s trust in line with Standing Orders.
Responding to the MP, the Speaker said the ballots cannot be destroyed today.
Meanwhile, MP SM Marikkar also urged the Speaker to conduct the electronic voting instead of wasting time through a secret ballot.
MP Marikkar said the public will be aware of the MPs’ votes.