SLFP to join national govt. in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will swear in RanilWickremesinghe as Prime Minister on Friday. File photo: V. Sudershan   | Photo Credit: V_Sudershan

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday initiated the process to strike a deal between his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) for forming a “national government.”

Nandimithra Ekanayake, senior SLFP leader and State Minister for Culture and Arts, told The Hindu that Mr. Sirisena had asked the party to form a six-member committee to work out the modalities for the national government.

He indicated that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga might head the panel, which would include S.B. Dissanayake, Sarath Amunugama, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Susil Premajayantha, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Reginald Cooray.

This was decided at a meeting of the Central Committee of the party. The arrangement is likely to last at least a couple of years.

According to Article 46 (5) [inserted in May through the 19 Amendment] of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the term ‘national government’ means “a government formed by a recognised political party or an  independent group which obtains the highest number of seats in Parliament together with other recognised political parties or independent groups.” 

Mr. Sirisena has requested the newly-elected lawmakers of the SLFP to prepare a report, which will consist of proposals of the party to be part of the national government.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who led the United People’s Freedom Alliance (in which SLFP is the largest constituent) in the elections, is said to have told to his colleagues that he would not like to be the Leader of Opposition. The post could be held by a senior member, he said.

Mr. Sirisena will swear in UNP leader Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister on Friday morning at his office.

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Printable version | Jan 14, 2022 4:51:17 PM |

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