Sri Lanka’s UNP to form broad alliance, push to abolish presidency

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s freshly re-appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said a broad alliance will be formed to abolish the presidency amid friction with President Maithripala Sirisena in appointing ministers.

Wickremesinghe said an alliance style National Democratic Front will be set up with the aim of abolishing the executive presidency and strengthen institutions at a large party rally in Colombo, where supporters were brought in from around the country.

He said no third party can be depended to abolish the executive presidency.

Wickremesinghe said institutions will also be strengthened.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party and Sri Lanka Freedom Party has shifting positions on abolishing the Presidency while others like the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has been firm in its call.
The 19th amendment to the constitution pushed for by civil activists have now strengthened the independence of the judiciary.

Wickremesinghe is in the process of forming a cabinet which has to be appointed by President Sirisena. President Sirisena has reportedly told members of his party that he will not give them appointments if they join the new cabient.

Political sources said there is a tug-o-war with Wickremesinghe over the law and order ministry.  (Colombo/Dec18/2018)

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