A large number of supporters of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa are expected to gather outside his official residence Temple Trees this morning amidst reports that he will hand in his resignation today(May 9).
Members of local authorities led by the SLLP as well as trade unionists affiliated to the party who met with the Prime Minister on Saturday pledged to bring their supporters to urge him not to resign, but the Prime Minister is expected to announce that he is stepping down from his post.
The Prime Minister visited the Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanveli Saya in Anuradhapura yesterday and following his return, met with a delegation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) who are in discussions to set up an all-party interim Government for which all the main parties have extended support.
The Prime Minister’s decision to step followed a Friday’s emergency Cabinet meeting where President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had agreed with several ministers who said that the only way to overcome the political impasse is for the Prime Minister to step down to pave the way for the appointment of a new PM and Cabinet.
Cabinet spokesman Nalaka Godahewa confirmed yesterday that the resignation of the Prime Minister had come up at Friday’s meeting so as to allow the President to make new appointments to the Cabinet, and hinted an announcement could come today or a few days later.
He said the President will act according to the Constitution and name a person who has the confidence of the majority in Parliament as Prime Minister.
On Friday, the Maha Nayakas of the Tri-Nikayas sent their second letter to the President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, asking them to put political differences aside and address the needs of the public, and work towards an all-party interim Government.