Political impasse to end with new hope | Sunday Observer

Political impasse to end with new hope

2 December, 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have come to an agreement to do whatever is necessary to resolve the current political impasse.

They are keen to ensure that the country doesn’t face any economic repercussions in the coming weeks, the Sunday Observer reliably learns.

The President met members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the United National Front (UNF) on Friday, November 30 with discussions going deep into the night, without conclusion but with a fundamental understanding.

During the discussion at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday night, the President highlighted the importance of concluding the current impasse before it turned into an economic crisis, since it is of paramount importance to pass the Budget for the 2019 fiscal year and to pass money for the Government machinery to continue without any hindrance.

The TNA has agreed to support the candidate who in the President’s view can muster the support of the majority.

Following the meeting it was agreed to bring a fresh No Confidence Motion in Parliament on the Wednesday (5).

Although it was suggested by UNP representatives to reappoint former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President had flatly refused to reappoint him, following which the names of former foreign Minister Thilak Marapana and Senior Parliamentarian Gamini Jayawicrema Perera’s names had been suggested for the post.

Discussions also revolved on the understanding that Sajith Premadasa or Ranjith Madduma Bandara can muster the support of the majority and also someone on whom everyone can agree upon.

The parties have agreed that the person to be appointed should in the President’s opinion, musters the support of the majority as provided for in the Constitution.

Article 42 (3) of the Constitution states, “The President shall appoint as Prime Minster, the Member of Parliament, who in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.”

President Sirisena had impressed upon political parties the importance of making decisions in the country’s best interest.

Sources revealed that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa too were of the view that the person with a majority backing should be appointed as the Prime Minister.

However, some members within the group had expressed their disagreement and insisted that Mahinda Rajapaksa should continue as the Prime Minister.

The sources also revealed that Leader of the House Dinesh Gunewardena, Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara had firmly expressed their discontent on the resignation of the current PM and believe that they should wait until the decision of the Supreme Court is given.

According to media reports a Gazette dissolving Parliament maybe withdrawn by the President in the coming days.

However, it is expected that another No Confidence motion will be presented in Parliament when it convenes on Wednesday, November 5, by way of an electronic or voice voting.

The NCM will expressly mention only that they do not have confidence in the current Prime Minister and will not refer to the Gazette notification as done on the previous occasion.


Majority support...

President Maithripala Sirisena says that the party or the person who has the support of the majority must work to ascertain and demonstrate such support and then move on to set up a Government while anyone who fails to gain the majority should accept it and work accordingly.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer, the President said that he does not have any say in the matter as it should be resolved within the Legislature.

“If any party can muster the support of the majority, the other party which has failed to do so should work accordingly. Then, the party having the majority should govern on the basis that if they have the majority they should be the government.

This is not something that I can interfere with,” he said. With his decision to move out from the unity government and remove the former Prime Minister and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister has created a political conundrum in the country. The crisis extending to a standstill in the government and the Legislature resulting in an economic crisis developing, with the government not being able to pass the Budget in Parliament.

See also interview with President Maithripala Sirisena on page....