SLFP to decide Budget stance on Tuesday | Sunday Observer

SLFP to decide Budget stance on Tuesday

President Maithripala Sirisena will hold a crucial meeting with the SLFP Parliamentary group on Tuesday (April 2) to decide on the SLFP’s stance at the third reading of Budget 2019.

SLFP MPs who are in President Sirisena’s camp were absent at the time of voting during the second reading of the Budget. All other SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition voted against the Budget. A final decision will be taken at Tuesday’s meeting between the President and the SLFP Parliamentary group during the third reading vote of the Budget.

Perhaps, the earlier decision of SLFP MPs abstaining from voting may be changed this time following the discussion with the President, a senior SLFPer told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Asked whether the SLFP MPs in the President’s camp would vote against the Budget at the third reading, SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said that no such decision had been taken so far and the issue will be discussed at Tuesday’s meeting.

Refuting media speculation that some SLFP seniors had told the President that the discussions between the SLFP and SLPP were of no avail and that the SLFP should contest future elections separately. MP Jayasekara said the discussions between the two parties are ongoing and the third round of talks are scheduled to be held on April 10.

At present the discussions between the two parties are focused on forming a broad political alliance to contest future elections but there was no discussion so far to decide on the next Presidential candidate.

Jayasekara said that as SLFPers, they hope that their party leader President Maithripala Sirisena would be the next Presidential candidate. However, the President had not yet made any statement whether he would contest or not. We feel that selecting a candidate who could win should be taken only after fruitful discussions with all stakeholders.