(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The ruling party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Hambanthota District parliamentarian Ajith Rajapakse was elected as the new Deputy Speaker of Parliament with a majority of 31 votes in a secret ballot held this morning in the House.
Ajith Rajapakse was nominated for the post of Deputy Speaker by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna while MP Rohini Kumari Wijeratne was nominated by the Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Party.
In today’s secret ballot, Ajith Rajapaksa received 109 votes, while Rohini Wijeratne received 78 votes and 23 invalid votes were cast.
Following the commencement of parliamentary proceedings this morning, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the two nominations for the Deputy Speaker position, which was left vacant after MP Ranjith Siyambalapitiya resigned from the post twice in one month this year.
Parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the ten independent parties opposed taking a vote urging the House to unanimously agree on one nominee.
Speaker then announced that a secret ballot would be held unless the MPs who nominated and seconded the two candidates come to an agreement to withdraw the nomination of one.