Speaker defends informing polls commission on Geethas seat
The court ruling was referred to the Secretary General of Parliament by the Speaker, as appropriate. Thereafter, subsequent to consulting the Attorney General as well about the measures to be taken by the Secretary General of Parliament, it was referred to the Elections Commission in the afternoon of the 8th 0f May (08.05.2017) for further action, the Speaker’s office said.The relevant ruling of the Court of Appeal had not been subjected to any reconsideration or stay by any superior court up to that point. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya defended the decision taken by his office to inform the Elections Commission about the Court of Appeal ruling on the Parliament seat of Geetha Kumarasinghe.A statement by the Speaker’s media unit said that certain parties have made statements targeting the Speaker, criticizing the informing of the ruling issued by the Court of Appeal with relevance to the case filed in relation to dual citizenship which disqualified Geetha Kumarasinghe from holding a seat in Parliament, to the Elections Commission. “However, we wish to point out that the relevant matter was informed to the Elections Commission by Parliament after a lapse of three working days while similar rulings had been conveyed to the Commissioner of Elections after a lapse of one working day in certain earlier occasions. Accordingly, we wish to emphasize that no undue urgency or delay was involved in conveying the relevant ruling to the Elections Commission and that the ordinary procedure has been followed in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law,” the statement said.The Speaker’s office said that any claim by any party that informing the Elections Commission about the ruling of the Court of Appeal regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Parliamentary seat was faulty and that the Speaker has acted on the agenda of the Government, is a total distortion of facts or one made out of ignorance. (Colombo Gazette) “We consider it our responsibility to furnish an explanation as such comments were given publicity by the media as well. When a seat in Parliament falls vacant due to some reason, informing that to the Elections Commission immediately in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law, is a task assigned to the Secretary General of Parliament,” the Speaker’s office said. The ruling regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe’s seat in Parliament was conveyed to the Speaker in the afternoon of the 3rd of May (03.05.2017).