ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Podujana Party of newly elected Sri Lanka president is calling on members of parliament who backed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to make way for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appoint a cabinet and prime minister to run his administration.
“We expect members of government to support our resolution to dissolve parliament and make way for parliamentary elections,” Udaya Gammanapila, a senior SLPP member told reporters.
“We are ready to bring people to the streets.”
Under the 19th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution, the current parliament can only be dissolved by the new president around March 2020 or 4.5 years after its first sitting in September 2015.
The parliament on its own can pass a resolution calling for a dissolution.
Unless Wickremesinghe resigns, any Prime Minister appointed by the new president will have to prove its majority in parliament, where the SLPP is a minority at the moment, unless it can muster more support.
Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, brother of the new president was projected as the Prime Minister in a Gotabaya Rajapaksa administion.
He called on Wickremesinghe government to make way saying the situation after this election differs from previous ones.
There is seven month gap between the Presidential and Parliamentary election because President Maithripala Sirisena delayed calls by Wickremesinghe’s dissolve the parliament pushing general elections to September.
“In the face of the unequivocal people’s mandate delivered at this election, we believe the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances,” Rajapaska said in a statement.
“As stated in our candidate’s election manifesto, it will be necessary to rebuild the economy from the bottom upwards and to introduce constitutional and legal reforms to achieve this objective.
“We will keep the people informed about further developments in this regard in the coming days.
Several members of Prime Minister Wickremesinhe’s cabinet had already resigned, including losing candidate housing Minister Sajith Premadasa, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Trade Minister Malik Samarawickeme and Telecom Minister Harin Fernando.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe issuing a statement said he would discuss with the speaker, other party leaders and the government parliamentary delegation on the next election.
Navin Dissanayake, plantations minister said Wickremesinghe would have discussions with the new President on the way forward on Monday.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa is due to take oaths in Anuradhapura in front of a Ruwanweli Seya, an ancient Buddhist Dagoba built by King Dutugamunu, who defeated Elara, a Chola dynasty king who ruled Sri Lanka’s north central Rajarata area. (Colombo/Nov18/2019)