Lanka Opposition Wants Installation of Majority Govt, Not Parliament Dissolution
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s opposition parties want the installation of a government which has majority support in parliament and not its dissolution and fresh elections.
This was told to the Foreign Correspondents’ Association (FCA) on Friday, by three top leaders of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which has majority support in parliament.
At present, the United National Party (UNP), which holds the reins of power, has less than 45 members in a House of 225, while the UPFA has more than 113.
President Maithripala Sirisena had called upon the UNP to form the government after he was elected on January 8, only because he had been in alliance with that party in the Presidential election.
G.L.Peiris, who along with Dullas Alahapperuma and Dinesh Gunawardene, spoke to the FCA, said that a minority government will not be able to get laws passed or bring about constitutional changes like the 20 th. Amendment (20A) to bring about vital electoral reforms.
“These are best done by a government enjoying majority support in parliament and the UPFA has the majority to form a stable, functioning government,” Peiris argued.
Reasons for No Trust Motion
Explaining the reasons for moving a No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Peiris said that if the motion is carried, as it will surely be because it had been signed by 112 MPs out of 225, the Prime Minister and his cabinet will have to resign. When that happens, President Sirisena will have to call upon a person who, in his opinion, has majority support in parliament, to form an alternative government. He can order dissolution of parliament only after that option has been exhausted, Peiris said.
The No Trust Motion is meant to enable the formation of an alternative viable government based on majority support in parliament and not to secure the dissolution of parliament, he clarified.
Sirisena Against Dissolution
President Sirisena thinks that parliament should not be dissolved before the 20A is passed. His chief lieutenant, Rajitha Senaratne, has said that parliament should not be dissolved till the end of its term in April 2016. Only the UNP wants immediate dissolution. It wants to come back to power with a majority of its own quickly.
Asked if a UPFA government will be able to work with President Sirisena when the UPFA will be having a strong pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa lobby in it, Peiris said: “We will have to work with him.”
Cohabitation is deemed possible because President Sirisena is also Chairman of the SLFP and a titular leader of the UPFA. And Rajapaksa is a Patron of the SLFP.