- The President’s resignation letter is also presented to the Parliament
In terms of section 5 of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 1981, the Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake today (16) announced to the Parliament that due to the resignation of His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with effect from July 14, 2022, a vacancy has occurred in the office of President.
In accordance with Article 38(1)(b) of the Constitution, the Secretary General also presented the letter dated 14th July 2022 sent to the Hon. Speaker by H.E. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa informing him of his resignation from the office of President.
In terms of section 4 of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 1981, given that the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of President shall, when Parliament has not been dissolved, operate as a summoning of Parliament to meet within three days of such occurrence. Accordingly, the Secretary General of the Parliament, read to the House the Extra ordinary Gazette Notification issued by the Secretary General for the purpose of informing the Members of Parliament.
In according to Section 5 of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 1981, given that the Secretary General should fix a date and time at which nominations shall be received by him being a date not earlier than forty-eight hours and not later than seven days from the date of such meeting, informed to the House that a date and time is set for Tuesday 19th July 2022 at 10.00 am where the Parliament will convene and receive in the nominations.
The Secretary General presented the following points for the convenience of the Members present regarding the acceptance of nominations in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of the relevant Act.
- On the date fixed for the receipt of nominations Parliament shall meet and the Secretary-General shall act as the returning officer.
- A member who wishes to propose any other member for election to the office of President shall obtain prior written consent of the member whom he wishes to propose indicating that such member is willing to serve if elected. I kindly request that a copy of the same be handed over to me on Tuesday 19th July 2022 when nominations will be accepted.
- A Member addressing himself to the Secretary-General shall propose some other member present in Parliament to the office of President, the proposal shall be seconded by another member, but no debate shall be allowed.
- If only one member be so proposed and seconded to the office of President on the 19th of July 2022, he/she shall be declared by me to have been elected to such office.
- If more than one member be so proposed and seconded on the 19th of July 2022, under the provisions of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 1981, Parliament shall fix a date and time for the holding of the election, such date being a date not later than forty-eight hours from the time of receiving nominations.
- Accordingly, as currently intended, a Parliament session can be held on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 and the voting for the presidency can be conducted.
- The Secretary General further stated that when nominating the name of a member of Parliament for the vacant post of President, it is essential to keep in minds the disqualifications mentioned in Article 92 of the Constitution of whom to be elected as a President.
Parliament met today at 10.00 a.m. and following the above announcements, it was adjourned until 10.00 a.m. on the 19th.