The motion presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to increase the Cabinet of Ministers to 48 and State and Deputy Ministers to 45 was passed in Parliament a short while ago with a majority of 127 votes.

A total of 143 MPs voted for the motion while 16 voted against it.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) along with MP Udaya Gammanpila voted against the motion.

A further 63 MPs were not present in the Parliamentary Chamber when the vote was taken.

Under provisions in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers in the Government should not exceed 30, while non-Cabinet and Deputy Ministers should not exceed 40.

However, the 19th Amendment also notes that in the event a recognized political party or independent group obtaining the highest number of seats in Parliament forms a ‘National Government,’ the number of Cabinet Ministers as well as number of non-Cabinet and Deputy Ministers, shall be determined by Parliament.