National Govt proposal: SLFP in the mix? | Sunday Observer

National Govt proposal: SLFP in the mix?

Some SLFP MPs would join if the proposal to form a national government led by the UNP is approved by Parliament on February 7, highly placed political sources told the Sunday Observer.

The UNP has expressed interest to the Secretary General of Parliament to form a national Government, with the one independent MP from the SLMC, Ali Sayed Mowlana, for the present.

The move has drawn sharp criticism from many quarters, since it is being viewed as an attempt to manipulate provisions of the 19th Amendment to increase the number of ministers in the Cabinet to 45. When the UNP took back Government power following the 51-day political turmoil, the number of Cabinet Ministers was slashed to 30 in accordance with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Several SLFP MPs were waiting for the nod from President Maithripala Sirisena, a senior Minister told Sunday Observer.

Former SLFP General Secretary and President Sirisena loyalist, Duminda Dissanayake said he believed that the current administration was already a national Government, but hastened to add that this was his personal opinion, as the President was holding ministries.

“Clearly the President represents the Government. However, the only difference in this national government is that, SLFP MPs are not a part of it. But the Chairman of the party is the Head of the State and Chief of the Cabinet,” Dissanayake said, adding, if the SLFP is to join the Government, it will be after a decision is taken at the party .SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera warned that if any member of the SLFP joined the Government they would “not hesitate to take action against them.” Jayasekara told the Sunday Observer that since the SLFP was no longer an ally of the UNP, the opposition which is led by the SLFP will defeat the UNP’s motion to form a national government. The SLFP had not yet got an official letter requesting the party to join the Government, he added.