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Gung-ho for national govt.


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  •  Main Opposition SLFP agrees to form national Govt. with top Committee appointed to draft MoU 
  •  President pushes for national govt. to take on international and economic challenges
  •  SLFP to join national unity government for at least two years
  • Separate committee under John Seneviratne to seek SLFP MP views
  •  Pavithra, Dullas, Welgama oppose joining national government at Central Committee met

 

BUP_DFT_DFT-1-254President Maithripala Sirisena met with members from his party who had been elected to Parliament at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday – Pic by Presidential Media Unit 

 

 

By Dharisha Bastians

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) headed by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday decided to back a national unity government that will cohabit with the UNFGG which emerged as the single largest party in Parliament in Monday’s election for at least two years.

SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake told reporters that the party’s Central Committee had granted President Sirisena full authority to form a national government under his leadership.

“The President emphasised that a national unity government was necessary at this juncture to overcome international and economic challenges facing the country,” Dissanayake told reporters outside the presidential residence following the meeting.

Asked which party would hold the premiership in the unity government, Dissanayake said traditionally the prime minister was appointed from the party that won the most number of seats in Parliament through an election.Dissanayake explained that President Sirisena had appointed a six-member committee headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to draft a memorandum of understanding to be signed with the UNFGG. The committee also comprises Nimal Siripala De Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Samarasinghe, S.B. Dissanayake and Dr. Sarath Amunugama. 

The SLFP Central Committee is reported to have been the scene of some heated arguments when elected MPs loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected the idea of joining the UNP-led national government.

President Sirisena as chair of the SLFP convened a Central Committee meeting at his official residence, yesterday. It was the first time the party’s key decision-making body was meeting in over a month, after Sirisena loyalist Prasanna Solongarachchi obtained a court order preventing former General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa from convening the committee without explicit permission from the party chairman. 

The legal action sought to prevent Yapa and other Rajapaksa loyalists from meeting to oust President Sirisena as Party Chairman and appoint the former President in his place in retaliation to the President’s scathing statement on Rajapaksa’s nomination on 14 July.

 


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