Article 62. Parliament.
(1) There shall be a Parliament which shall consist of two hundred and twenty-five Members elected in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
(2) Unless Parliament is sooner dissolved, every Parliament shall continue for six years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer, and the expiry of the said period of six years shall operate as a dissolution of Parliament.
Article 63. Official oath or affirmation.
Except for the purpose of electing the Speaker, no Member shall sit or vote in Parliament until he has taken and subscribed the following oath, or made and subscribed the following affirmation, before Parliament :-
“I ................ do solemnly declare and affirm /swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.”
Article 64. Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees.
(1) Parliament shall, at its first meeting after a General Election, elect three Members to be respectively the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees (hereinafter referred to as the “Deputy Speaker") and the Deputy Chairman of Committees thereof.
(2) A Member holding office as the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy Chairman of Committees shall unless he earlier resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President or ceases to be a Member, vacate his office on the dissolution of Parliament.
(3) Whenever the office of Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Deputy Chairman of Committees becomes vacant otherwise than as a result of a dissolution of Parliament, Parliament shall at its first meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy elect another Member to be the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy Chairman of Committees, as the case may be.
(4) If Parliament, after having been dissolved, is summoned under paragraph (7) of Article 70, each of the Members mentioned in paragraph (2) of this Article shall, notwithstanding anything therein, resume and continue to hold his office while that Parliament is kept in session.
(5) The Speaker, or in his absence the Deputy Speaker, or in their absence the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall preside at sittings of Parliament. If none of them is present, a Member elected by Parliament for the sitting shall preside at that sitting of Parliament.
Article 65. Secretary General of Parliament.
(1) There shall be a Secretary-General of Parliament who shall be appointed by the President and who shall hold office during good behaviour.
(2) The salary of the Secretary-General shall be determined by Parliament, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during his term of office.
(3) The members of the staff of the Secretary-General shall be appointed by him with the approval of the Speaker.
(4) The salaries of the members of the staff of the Secretary-General shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.
(5) The office of the Secretary-General shall become vacant—
- upon his death;
- on his resignation in writing addressed to the President;
- on his attaining the age of sixty years, unless Parliament otherwise provides by law;
- on his removal by the President on account of ill health or physical or mental infirmity; or
- on his removal by the President upon an address of Parliament.
(6) Whenever the Secretary-General is unable to discharge the functions of his office, the President may appoint a person to act in the place of the Secretary-General.
Article 66. Vacation of seats.
The seat of a Member shall become vacant -
(a) upon his death;
(b) if, by a writing under his hand addressed to the Secretary-General of Parliament, he resigns his seat;
(c) upon his assuming the office of President consequent to his election to such office, either by the People or by Parliament;
(d) if he becomes subject to any disqualification specified in Article 89 or 91;
(e) if he becomes a member of the Public Service or an employee of a public corporation or, being a member of the Public Service or an employee of a public corporation, does not cease to be a member of such Service or an employee of such corporation, before he sits in Parliament;
(f) if, without the leave of Parliament first obtained, he absents himself from the sittings of Parliament during a continuous period of three months;
(g) if his election as a Member is declared void under the law in force for the time being;
(h) upon the dissolution of Parliament; or
(i) upon a resolution for his expulsion being passed in terms of Article 81.
Article 67. Privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and Members.
The privileges, immunities, and powers of Parliament and of its Members may be determined and regulated by Parliament by law, and until so determined and regulated, the provisions of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act, shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.
Article 68. Allowances of Members.
(1) Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members, including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall be paid such remuneration or allowance as may be provided by Parliament, by law or by resolution, and the receipt thereof shall not disqualify the recipient from sitting or voting in Parliament.
(2) Until Parliament so provides, the remuneration payable to Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members, including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall be the same as the remuneration paid to Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the National State Assembly immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution.
Article 69. Power of Parliament to act notwithstanding vacancies.
Parliament shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and its proceedings shall be valid notwithstanding that it is discovered subsequently that a person who was not entitled so to do sat or voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings.