By Yohan Perera
The 9th Parliament will meet 9.30 am today where they will elect a new Speaker and a Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to present the policy statement of the government in the afternoon.
House will meet with 223 members as the UNP and Ape Jana Balawegaya had failed to name MPs for their two national list slots. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake said the two seats in the chambers for the slots of the two political parties would be kept vacant till they name persons for the national list slots.
Meanwhile MPs Premalal Jayasekara and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan have been allowed to attend first sittings today according to Sergeant-at-Arms of the Parliament Narendra Fernando. The Batticaloa High Court granted permission to the leader of Thamil Makkal Viduthalaipulikal (TMVP) Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan who is currently in remand custody. Ratnapura District Parliamentarian H.L. Premalal Jayasekara, who has been sentenced to death, has also been granted permission to attend the 20th sitting of Parliament.
Prior to the ceremonial opening of the first session of the 9th Parliament, the first sitting will commence today (20) at 9.30 am to elect the Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 1 of Parliament. All the new Members elected to Parliament will then take their official oaths or affirmation before the new Speaker. This is followed by the appointment of a Deputy Speaker and a Deputy Chairperson of Committees.