by Maheesha Mudugamuwa
The SLFP yesterday said under the current circumstances a new Prime Minister should be appointed, replacing incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe after the conclusion of local government polls on Feb. 10.
Addressing the weekly SLFP media briefing at party headquarters in Colombo, SLFP Spokesman State Minister Dilan Perera said such a move would be possible if the UNP faced an electoral setback. If UNP obtained a majority it wouldn’t be possible to achieve that objective, he added. “Therefore people should vote SLFP led UPFA as only President could change and appoint a new PM.”
Minister Perera said so in the wake of statements made by Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Lakshman Kiriella and Arjuna Ranatunga to the effect that the SLFP and the UNP would continue to be in the unity government after the polls.
Explaining possible ways to appoint a new PM, Minister Perera said the SLFP led UPFA should be able to secure a working majority in Parliament. “At present we can assume that at least there are 90 UPFA MPs who want a new PM and there are six JVP MPs and several disgruntled UNP MPs including Minister Sajith Premadasa, who welcomed the Bond Scam Commission report,” he added.
The President would be able to get their support in Parliament and therefore it was up to the public to vote for SLFP to bring about a change in Parliament, Minister Perera said, adding that platform rhetoric wouldn’t help change the PM.
The Badulla District MP alleged the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the UNP colluded to defeat the SLFP led by President Sirisena.
The SLPP Chaired by Prof. G.L Peiris did not have parliamentary representation and, therefore, their election slogans carried no weight, Minister Perera said.
Once the LG polls were concluded on Feb. 10, the SLFP Central Committee would decide whether they would continue to stay in the government or not. “Bu, the President will definitely take the control of the economy,” he added.
The SLFP also assured that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not be stripped of his civic rights.