Minority parties backing Speaker Lokubandara

July 17 (IL) The three main minority parties yesterday came out strongly against the government's demand for Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to resign immediately and assured they would not support any move to remove the Speaker.

The TNA, the CWC and the SLMC said a Speaker appointed by a majority in Parliament had no valid reason to resign simply because he lost his Haputale seat at the recent Provincial Council elections.

They said the loss at the polls had little to do with the general election and Mr. Lokubandara's role as the Speaker.

SLMC Secretary General and Parliamentarian M.T. Hasan Ali said no clause in the Constitution required a Speaker to step down from his post just because he lost his seat at the provincial poll.

"Compared to the General election on April 2, the UPFA has lost more than 600,000 votes. In that case shouldn't the government also step down as it lost such a huge amount of votes," Mr. Ali asked.

TNA MP A. Vinyagamoorthy also insisted that the government was making an unreasonable demand and vowed his party would not support the government's move.

"I don't think we could support any such move. It's the majority that elected him and only the majority can remove him. The reason given by the government is baseless," a senior CWC member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

Meanwhile, political sources said there was a possibility of the CWC supporting the government's move if the Congress decided to join the UPFA.