The vote on the Second Reading of the 2016 Budget was passed in Parliament a short while ago with a majority of 107 votes.

The motion received 159 votes in favor while 52 MPs voted against it. Thirteen MPs were not present in the Parliamentary chamber when the vote was taken.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is the main Opposition party in Parliament, voted in favor of the budget.

This is the first time in the country’s history that the main Opposition party in Parliament has voted in favor of a government’s budget.

The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) led by Arumugam Thondaman, also voted in favor of the budget as did Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) MP Douglas Devananda.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) voted against the budget. A section of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) MPs, who have chosen to sit in the Opposition, also voted against the budget. By doing so, the MPs rejected their own party’s decision to vote in favor of the budget.

Former Parliamentarian and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa was a notable absentee when the vote was taken this evening.

Meanwhile, SLFP MP Lakshman Seneviratne, who is part of the SLFP MPs sitting in the Opposition benches, chose to vote in favor of the budget.