Nalin Bandara calls for collective resignation allowing Rajapaksa govt to fail
Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara insisted today that the Yahapalana Government should resign collectively and let the Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led camp take over immediately, until parliamentary elections are held in due course.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo this morning, Bandara said that the United National Party (UNP) will gain a political advantage only if they allow the Rajapaksa camp to take over and [unsuccessfully] attempt to implement their presidential election manifesto.
“Since the President cannot dissolve Parliament till February, general elections are likely to be held in either late April or early May. It is true that we still have a majority in Parliament, but why should we continue to hold power when we no longer have a mandate? I believe the whole government should resign immediately and hand over the reins to the Rajapaksa camp,” said Bandara, adding that the new President should be given the opportunity to appoint a Cabinet of his choice.
“The truth is that it is politically disadvantageous for us to hold a parliamentary election before the scheduled time. If the Rajapaksas take over the government, the people will see that the same old faces are in the new Cabinet. This Cabinet will have to present a budget and fulfil promises made in the presidential election campaign such as reducing VAT by eight per cent,” he added, noting that people will see if the new government can actually deliver on their campaign promises.
Bandara then accused some UNP MPs of indirectly supporting the Rajapaksa camp.
“I know for a fact that they (the Rajapksas) cannot fulfil their promises. As soon as the Cabinet is appointed, a majority in their camp will have to make sacrifices and those who worked for the victory might not be in the new Cabinet and a political crisis will be inevitable. Kowing this, some UNP MPs will try and help the Rajapksas to go for an early election. This is in their contract,” he said, adding that these UNPs, together with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will support the new government in overcoming the three-month-challenge until the parliamentary elections.
“I remember how, back in 1994, the Prime Minister resigned immediately after he lost. But what is he doing now? He should look at the political implications and immediately hand over the Government to the Rajapaksas to try and gain a political advantage,” Bandara added.
The Deputy Minister further said that if the UNP will not move forward with new leadership and fresh office-bearers, he will resign from his position of Main Organiser of the Bingiriya region.