President Likely To Allow Disappointed SLFP Ministers To Leave Government: UNP-led Government On The Cards

February 12, 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena is likely to allow SLFP Ministers dissatisfied with the result of the Local Government election to resign from their ministerial portfolios, highly placed party sources told Asian Mirror.

It is also learnt that about 10 senior Cabinet ministers representing the SLFP have informed the President that the party should not continue in the unity government.

"Election results clearly indicate that the decision to accept ministerial positions in the government has cost us dearly. We have no right to stay in the government. The SLFP must sit in the opposition," an SLFP stalwart, who attended a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena at the latter's Paget Road residence last morning, told Asian Mirror. 

He said the President was positive about the suggestion. "He will soon make a public statement on the matter." 

Although the SLFP-led coalition contested for all districts at the Local Government election, they only managed to secure 1.4 million votes, just over 13% of the country's total voter-base. 

It is the worst result the party has received at an election in its 67 year history.

If the SLFP ministers decide to sit in the opposition, the UNP will be able to run the government for another 2 years. However, the UNP too does not have a simple majority in House as the party has the support of only 106 MPs in Parliament. Two MPs who got elected on the UNP ticket - Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Athuraliya Rathana Thera - now function as Independent MPs. 

Therefore, the UNP needs the support of at least 09 more MPs to run an effective government with a simple majority in Parliament. 


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