President Maithripala Sirisena, who is currently under severe political pressure after the SLFP’s dismal performance at the Local Government polls, is now pushing for the resignation of Primr Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, authoritative political sources confirmed.
The President, Asian Mirror learns, has agreed to form a UNP government without Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. He had informed a UNP delegation, led by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, that he was ready to accept a UNP government with a new Prime Minister.
Sirisena had said such a drastic change was needed to prevent the ‘comeback’ of the Rajapaksa family to power.
The idea has been immediately shot down by the large majority of UNP Cabinet ministers. They had categorically stated that President Sirisena, who only managed to get 13% percent votes at the Local Government polls, cannot talk about removing the Prime Minister.
“If someone has to step down, then the President must go,” an influential Cabinet minister told Asian Mirror.
The Prime Minister too had responded to the President’s statement saying he had no reason to step down from the Premiership as he can show the majority in Parliament.
Meanwhile, a minor group in the UNP had reportedly attempted to get President Sirisena to appoint Speaker Karu Jayasuriya as the Prime Minister.
Asian Mirror is in a position to reveal that Speaker Jayasuriya too has given his consent to the idea. Jayasuriya, on multiple occasions, attempted to become the Leader of the UNP, ousting party leader Wickremesinghe.
Although the President has given the green light to the proposal, what stands in the way of the move is the lack of support within the party’s Parliamentary group. “Many parliamentarians have shot down that idea witbh the contempt it deserves,” a UNP Parliamentary group member said, this morning.