Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratane yesterday claimed that the no person accused of fraud or corruption had been appointed as a minister on Sunday and hinted there was room for more appointments as well.
Senaratne added: “No person accused of fraud or corruption has been appointed as ministers under this Government,” Senaratne said, referring to the addition of 26 SLFP MPs to the National Government.
He also noted that under the National Government more Parliamentarians could be appointed as Ministers as there was room for 45 Cabinet ministers and 55 other ministers to exist.
“However, I do admit that these appointments have not been made according to a scientific method. After the next election we will make these appointments according to a scientific method. After the next general election with the support of the United National Party (UNP) we will form another National Government, so there will be no injustice for the UNP,” Senaratne said.
He said that following Sunday’s appointments, the Government had now attained a two-thirds majority in Parliament, leading to the passing of the 19th Amendment yesterday.
Commenting about the 19th Amendment, the Cabinet Spokesman said that everybody in the Cabinet consented to passing the 19th Amendment except Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka.
“In the 19th Amendment it is said that the Head of the State and the Commander-of-Chief will be the President, but it has not mentioned anything about the Head of the Government. Minister Ranawaka insisted that the Head of the Government should be the President and therefore he was against it, because in the 19th Amendment it has not been said who should be the Head of the Government. But according to the 19th Amendment, the immunity of the President has been removed and it says that the President should be responsible to Parliament and this is what we have been campaigning for,” Senaratne added.