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Government violated the Constitution by passing Votes on Account without Parliament – Harsha

ECONOMYNEXT- The Main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) says the government should admit it violated the constitution when it approved money for government spending from April 30 to August 27.

SJB Member of Parliament Dr Harsha De Silva says the president during the Covid 19 approved two votes on Account without the permission of Parliament thus violating the constitution.

“We asked that Parliament be recalled during the pandemic to give the approval for the vote on account and we explained it was illegal,” Silva told reporters at a media briefing at the SJB headquarters this morning (27).

“But the government said the president has the authority to pass these vote on accounts.”

De Silva said the new government had money to spend during the first four months in 2020 due to a vote on account approved during the previous Parliament.

“During the past government, the previous Finance Minister presented a vote on account for the first 4 months of 2020,” Silva said.

“Normally it will be done in order to provide financial support to the government when there is an election.”

“But the current government did not present any vote on account for the months from April 30 to August 27.”

The vote on account for September to December is being debated today and tomorrow.

“Because of the Covid 19 situation, the opposition did not argue about this. But we need to find a legal solution or an answer for the money they spent.”

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Silva said during the presentation of accounts of the government before the elections the report shows a vote on account approved by the president for 1,229 billion rupees.

However, De Silva argues the president has the authority to pass a vote on account only for three months after a new government is formed.

De Silva said with the elections being postponed by the government the authority to handle finance is with Parliament and not with the president.

“It cannot be done. The finance power is with the parliament. Not with any other person.”

“Also, the government has obtained loans without any permission from the parliament. So, there are two offences. ”

“The presented vote on account is for September to December. It is okay. No issue in that. The problem is the money spent from May to August.” (Colombo/ Aug 27/ 2020)

Reported by Chanka Jayasinghe