The inaugural sitting of the eighth parliament will commence at 9.30 a.m. today and Members of Parliament have been asked to be present by 9.00 am.
President Maithripala Sirisena is due to present the Statement of Government Policy at the Ceremonial sitting of the First Session at 3.00 pm. It will be his first presentation of Statement of Government Policy. He will deliver the statement from the Chair of the Speaker.
Proceedings of Parliament will commence with the Quorum Bells rung for five minutes from 9.25 a.m. when Members will assemble in the Chamber. At 9.30 a.m., ringing of the Bells will be stopped and the Sergeant-at-Arms will enter the Chamber bearing the Mace. Members will rise in their places until the Sergeant-at-Arms proceeds to the Table and places the Mace on the lower rest of the Table. After the Sergeant-at-Arms takes his seat, the Secretary-General of Parliament will read the Proclamations made by the President summoning the Meeting and proceed immediately to the election of the Speaker.
The procedure for election of a Speaker is set out in Standing Orders Nos. 3 and 4. A Member desiring to propose a name will stand in his place, and the Secretary-General of Parliament pointing to him, will make his proposal in the form prescribed in Standing Order No. 4(2). In case of more than one member standing to make a proposal, the Secretary-General of Parliament will decide the Member to be called first, and on his pointing to that Member, the other Members will remain in their seats until the proposal has been made and seconded. It is usual and greatly facilitates the proceedings for Members intending to propose candidates for the office of Speaker to notify their intention to the Secretary-General of Parliament before the meeting begins.
When the Speaker has been elected, he will submit himself to the will of Parliament and will be led to the Speaker’s Chair by his proposer and seconder. Having reached the Chair the Speaker will, before sitting down, very briefly thank Parliament for his election. On taking his seat, the Sergeant-at-Arms will take the Mace from the lower rest and place it on the Table. Thereafter, the Speaker will have the Oath or Affirmation administered to him by the Secretary-General of Parliament and signs the Roll of Members. At this stage the Leaders of Parties will congratulate the Speaker on his election to the Chair and the Speaker will again thank Parliament.
The Speaker will now remind Members that their first duty is to take the Oath or make the Affirmation required by law. He will then proceed to have the Oath or Affirmation administered to Members. Oath papers will now be distributed to Members who after taking the Oath or making the Affirmation will sign the Roll of Members and hand over the perfected and signed Oath papers to the Secretary-General of Parliament.
After the Oath or Affirmation has been administered to all Members present, the Parliament will proceed to the election of a Deputy Speaker and a Deputy Chairman of Committees in nearly the same manner as the election of the Speaker, except that the election will be conducted by the Speaker himself.
Thereafter Parliament will be adjourned till 3.00 pm and after the House resumes sittings, the President would present the Statement of Government Policy and thereafter the House would be adjourned till next Thursday, sources said.