Vigneswaran has more Ministers than constitutionally prescribed

The 131st session of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) descended into chaos, yesterday, as Councillors expressed their displeasure at the number of provincial ministers in the Council.

A number of Councillors asked NPC Chief Minister, CV Wigneswaran what he was going to do about the board of ministers, which had more members than the constitutionally prescribed number.

According to the 13th amendment to the Constitution, the number of ministers must be limited to five, but there are six ministers in the NPC currently. Last year Wigneswaran sacked two PC ministers, Education Minister T. Kurukularaja and Agriculture Minister P. Ingaranesan, over corruption and fraud allegations. Ingaranesan has filed a case against his expulsion in the Court of Appeals, which has granted leave to proceed and issued a stay order. There are now six ministers in NPC.

Last month, Governor of the Northern Province (NPC), Reginald Cooray asked Wigneswaran to appoint a new board of ministers. The NPC had no legal authority to administer the province, Cooray told The Island. Given the situation, the best option was for the current ministers to resign and for the Chief Minister to appoint a new provincial council board of ministers, he said.

“I have no power to appoint or remove a provincial minister. Only the Chief Minister can do so. Wigneswaran needs to find a solution to this issue,” Cooray added. (Island)

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