Sri Lanka President’s party seeks to be official opposition
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena’s United National People’s Alliance will make a formal request to make Mahinda Rajapaksa the leader of the opposition, party representatives said spelling more trouble for Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
UPFA legislator Chandima Weerakkody said 101 members of the party’s parliamentary group had decided to make a formal request to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya shortly after a meeting with President Sirisena.
The move will unseat Tamil National Alliance chief R Sambanthan from the leader of the opposition post.
Parliament is due to meet later today.
Udaya Gammanpila, another legislator said 101 members of the UPFA had decided to act together and be a strong unified group.
Until a political crisis erupted on October 26, a section of the UPFA had broken away and were with Rajapaksa while the rest was with President Sirisena in a coalition administration with Wickremesinghe’s United National Front.
Rajapaksa and several others had said during the crisis that they gained membership of the Sri Lanka Podujana Party, formally leaving the UPFA alliance, which left then in danger of losing their seats if the party decided to take action.
However Rajapsaksa’s brother was quoted in the media as saying that while that there was only a membership of application. Some however had tweeted their membership certificates.
Wickremesinghe is yet to appoint a cabinet of ministers. (Colombo/Dec18/2018)