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Opposition Exodus from COPE Won’t Affect Deliberations, Top Source Assures

The departure of opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), a pivotal watchdog committee, will not impact the conduct of deliberations, as the government’s representation is deemed sufficient to maintain the required quorum, according to a reliable source.

Seven opposition MPs, representing the minority in COPE, have resigned in protest over the appointment of ruling party MP Rohitha Abeygunawardane as its chairman. COPE is entrusted with examining the financial activities of statutory boards, including various corporations and bureaus.

The resigning MPs cite concerns about working under a chairman whose reputation is tarnished with allegations of corruption. However, as of yesterday, only three MPs had formally submitted their resignation letters to parliamentary authorities.

MPs Eran Wickramaratne, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Professor Charitha Herath, S. M. Marikkar, Gamini Waleboda, Hesha Vithanage, and Shanakiyan Rajaputhiran Rasamanickam have announced their resignations thus far.

COPE comprises 31 members, with 19 MPs from the government and 11 from the opposition. However, the quorum requirement for COPE is only four members. Thus, even if all opposition members resign, it will not affect the committee’s functions.

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