Parliament has no authority to increase the number of ministers

Saturday, 9 February 2019

The UNP leaders are dreaming to increase the number of ministers by passing a resolution in Parliament to appease the backbenchers.  However, only the President can increase the number of ministers because Article 43(1) of the Constitution has vested the power to determine the number of ministers with the President.  Article 46(1) says that maximum number of ministers shall be 30.  It does not mean that the President is bound to appoint 30 ministers.  It only means that he can appoint ministers up to 30.

After passing a resolution in Parliament to increase the maximum number of ministers to 48, the President can appoint ministers up to 48.  Alternatively, he can stick to the present number of 30 ministers.  If he wants, he can reduce the number of ministers to even to 5.  Even the Supreme Court has no authority to direct the President to increase the number of ministers.  Therefore, if the UNP plans to increase the number of ministers by passing a resolution against the President’s wish, they will be daydreaming.