Ali Zahir Moulana Seiyad of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) was sworn in as a Member of Parliament this morning (Oct. 17) to fill the seat left vacant following the removal of former minister Naseer Ahamed.

He took oaths before Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, shortly after the commencement of today’s session.

In April 2022, the SLMC had stripped Naseer Ahamed of his party membership after he endorsed the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and voted in favour of the Budget 2022.

On October 06, the Supreme Court took into consideration a petition filed by Naseer Ahamed and upheld the decision of SLMC to expel him from the party, determining that it was lawful and that there was no reason to intervene in the party’s decision.

As such, Naseer Ahamed not only lost his parliamentary seat but also the portfolio of Environment Minister, which was later taken over by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Accordingly, on October 11, the Election Commission announced, in a special gazette notification, the appointment of Moulana to the vacant parliamentary seat.

The Secretary General of Parliament had informed the Election Commission, under Section 64 (1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, that a vacancy has emerged in the membership of the Ninth Parliament by reason of Mr. Ahamed Zainulabdeen Naseer ceasing to be a Member of Parliament.

The communiqué stated that the Returning Officer, for the said Electoral District was directed by the Election Commission under Section 64(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981 to fill this vacancy as provided for under paragraph 13 (b) of Article 99 of the Constitution.

Accordingly, the Returning Officer had made a return to the effect that Ali Zahir Moulana was declared elected as an MP for the said Electoral District and has submitted the report to the Election Commission, the gazette stated. 

Taking to ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) in this regard, Ali Zahir Moulana had said “This judgment sets a critical precedent to the political establishment – strengthening the ideologies & principles of political parties, fortifying the doctrines of maintaining a civilized, orderly democracy & most importantly consolidating the absoluteness of our Constitution”.

The former state minister, who is a senior member of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), had previously served as a Batticaloa District MP under the United National Party (UNP).