PARLIAMENT

OF SRI LANKA

SinhalaSriLankaTamil-SriLanka

How to Vote?

When the decision of the House is required, the question is put to the House for the approval or the disapproval of the Members. Each member's decision is taken by a vote. Voting can only be done while the House is in session. Every Member is entitled to a vote and they should exercise it personally. When voting, a Member must occupy his allotted seat. Every Member has a right to vote but any Member may refrain from voting if he so desires. Voting in Parliament could be taken in three different ways. They are:


a. Vote by Voice

The most common form of vote is voice vote. According to the Standing Order 42, when the Speaker puts the question to the House those in favor of a resolution say "Aye" and those against say "No". If the Speaker feels that the opinion of the House is sufficiently and clearly expressed he could announce it to the House. If a Member is not satisfied with the decision of the Speaker, he may ask for a division.


b. Vote by Name

When a request for a division by name is so made, the Speaker takes steps as specified in the Standing Order 42. At this stage, the division bells should be rung for two minutes and the division should be taken by name. The vote is taken by the Secretary-General asking each member separately how he desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly. The Secretary-General first asks the Prime Minister and then the Ministers of the Cabinet, other Ministers and the Deputy Ministers in the respective alphabetical order of their names and then the other members in the alphabetical order of their names. A member may state that he declines to vote and in such case the Secretary-General should record his name as having declined to vote. After counting the votes the Secretary-General should present the results to the Speaker and the Speaker should declare the result of the division. If votes are equal, the Speaker can cast his vote and declare the result.


c. Vote by Rising

If the Speaker so decides he can take the vote as described in the Standing Order 43. It says that the Speaker can call upon the Members to rise in their places. The Secretary-General Should count and report the result to the Speaker and the Speaker should announce the result to the House. If a member states that he voted in error or that his vote has been counted wrongly, he may claim to have his vote altered. But this should be done before the Speaker declares the result of the division.

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Last Updated on 26-03-2013

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