Although a national government resolution would be passed in Parliament to increase the number of cabinet posts to 48 ministries and the number of non-cabinet ministers to 45, the President is expected to take steps to not to increase the number of ministerial portfolios, sources close with the President say.
When inquired, President's Counsel Dr. Jayatissa de Costa stated that the President is permitted to do so.
Meanwhile, legal expert Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama said that the President is bound to appoint ministers if the Prime Minister advises and a Fundamental Rights case can be filed in the Supreme Court if the President does not live up to the request of the Prime Minister.
The UNP fails
It is reported that, however, the proposal on a national government, that was supposed to be presented in the House suspending even standing orders, was postponed as some SLFP MPs who pledged to support the move, were avoiding at a later stage.
The Joint Opposition, JVP and the TNA have strongly criticized changing the agenda of Parliament and stalling the Standing Orders for presenting the National Government at the party leaders' meeting on Wednesday (06) and they have urged to bring it under the due process.
The Speaker has said that it is advisable to work as per the Parliamentary tradition. However, the UNP members who had not agreed to this have stated that they will definitely bring the resolution Thursday (07).
Risk of defeat!
However, a few hours later, it was decided to postpone the proposal at a meeting held at Temple Trees to the next parliamentary week.
Apart from the 6 SLFP currently support the UNP government, there was an uncertainty about the promise made by five or six members to join the government, and the decision to suspend the Standing Orders and hold the election would end up as a defeat caused the decision to postpone the proposal.
This national government proposal was to be submitted to increase the number of cabinet ministers to 48 and the number of Non Cabinet ministers to 45.
(Source - Ravaya)