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No provisions in Constitution to bring NCM aimed at only removing PM - Vajira

Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena yesterday said that there is no provisions in the Constitution to bring a No-Confidence Motion at only removing the Prime Minister.

He said Article 48(2) of the Constitution provides for a No-Confidence Motion against the Government and not the Prime Minister, “if Parliament rejects a Statement of Government Policy or the Appropriation Bill that the Cabinet of Ministers shall stand dissolved,” he added.

Minister Abeywardena said the Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe had said that he will face this as it has been forwarded under the traditions of British system despite no provisions in the Constitution for it.

Addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday, the Minister said the Presidential Commission Investigating the Treasury Bond issue has already dealt with all the allegations in the charge sheet containing in the No-Confidence Motion against Prime Minister.

“Therefore, this was the action of a certain deranged group to bring such a suggestion despite the Prime Minister being cleared of any misconduct or wrong doing by the Presidential Commission investigating the Treasury Bond issue,” Minister Abeywardena said.

“Eventhough this is baseless, we as a government will bravely face it and defeat it in order to consolidate public confidence on the government,” he said.

According to the Constitution, this motion can not be taken for the debate. There is no moral validity on it as it has been brought against the peoples mandate given to Prime Minister. The PM can be removed only through a referendum,” Minister Abeywardena added.

“The Presidential Commission investigating the Treasury Bond issue has clearly stated that no politician has been involved in the bond issue. The Commission report has clearly mentioned the culprits and legal action has already been taken against them. If any issue is before Courts,it cannot be debated in Parliament.So, it is evident the motion has been brought to sling mud at the PM,” he said.

The Minister further said although other Central Banks in the world follow rules and regulations regarding Bond auction procedure, our Central Bank did not follow such rules for the last 35 years. It was Prime Minster Wickremesinghe who introduced such rules and regulations on regarding Bond auction and obtained Cabinet approval at the end of year 2016.

“Due to the lack of rules and regulations, several companies have made disproportionate profits through the Bond auction. Before, we came in to power, around eight private banks were involved in this process under private placement. Due to irregularities in the system, we opened the process to the world. However, no action can be taken regarding the Bond issue taken place during the period of 2008 to 2015 as there are no adequate laws enacted in the Bond auction process,” Minister Abeywardena said.

The Minister further said the recent Local Government election was a national crime. The government has to bear an unnecessary burden due to the large number of members appointed to the Local Bodies.

“Eventhough if any political party has won the majority in a particular Local Government body, ultimately it has to loose the power of it when Mayors and Chairman are appointed. This is totally an abnormal system which should be changed soon,” he added.