Rowing Together

President Chandrika Kumaratungas minority government secured the deputy speakers post in Parliament on Tuesday after the main opposition party offered no resistance to the move.
The United National Front reached an agreement with the government not to oppose Kumaratungas candidate for the position, said party spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe. rn

rnHe did not elaborate. rn

rnThe UNFs position was in sharp contrast to its opposition to Kumaratungas nominee for the powerful speakers post on April 23. rn

rnFormer justice minister and UNF member W.J.M. Lokubandara was elected to that post in a major setback for the presidents alliance. rn

rnThe speaker of Parliament in Sri Lanka has broad powers – including whether to accept impeachment motions, when to allow floor debates and the priority of parliamentary bills – giving him enormous influence to decide the legislative agenda. rn

rnOn Tuesday, Geethangana Gunawardena from Kumaratungas alliance was elected deputy speaker while M. Achithanathan from a