Sri Lanka opposition demands government change

Sri Lanka opposition demand president's appointed prime minister be replaced by party with parliamentary majority

Sri Lanka opposition demands government change

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Leading Sri Lanka opposition politicians have called for a restructuring of the government formed under President Maithripala Sirisena in January. 

After his surprise presidential election victory at the beginning of the year, Sirisena appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe prime minister, despite his party not holding a majority in parliament.

However, three senior opposition politicians associated with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa told reporters on Friday night that the government should rightfully be formed by the parliamentary majority, which is held by their United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

"The UPFA with the SLFP [Sri Lanka Freedom Party] commands such support. Its leader in parliament should be asked to form the government. Dissolution can be considered only when this option is exhausted. Dissolution should be the last option,” former external affairs minister Prof G.L. Peiris said.

The opposition alliance had earlier Friday submitted a no confidence motion to parliament against Wickremesinghe, signed by 112 signatures -- half of parliament. 

Peiris said he is confident the motion will be passed with majority support in the coming days, bringing a political impasse between the UPFA and government to an end. 

“When that happens, we hope the prime minister and his cabinet, as per Westminster tradition, will resign. That will pave the way for the president to call upon a person who, in his opinion, commands the majority in parliament to form a government. We have the majority in parliament,” Peiris said.

He added that Wickremesinghe’s minority government "has no moral or constitutional right to pass laws."

The UPFA have increasingly agitated for a change in governance in recent weeks with many leaning towards reintroducing the alliance's leader Rajapaksa into politics, this time as the prime ministerial candidate. 

The politicians did not however call for any action against Sirisena, who also happens to be the leader of the UPFA's main constituent party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, despite defecting from Rajapaksa's government to run against the former president in the January election. 

Sirisena is currently locked in crucial discussions with the UPFA leaders to break current deadlock over his attempts introduce a 20th Amendment to the constitution, in order to bring sweeping electoral reforms, prior to dissolution of parliament for elections.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Haziran 2015, 21:47