End is nigh for National Govt? Opposition Leader to change?
Members of Parliament from the government and the opposition are presently expressing various views during the ongoing debate on the motion of the no confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
However, political analysts point out that regardless of the final outcome of the vote, either the defeat or victory of the motion would signal the end of the National Government, formed by the country’s two main political parties.
Accordingly, before the commencement of the debate various opinions regarding the final stance of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) were expressed on multiple occasions.
State Minister A.H.M. Fowzie had stated this morning, following a discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena, that the SLFP decided to abstain from voting on the motion.
However, the General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Duminda Dissanayake, speaking to Ada Derana, stated that the party has still not reached a final agreement on the matter.
In the meantime a group of SLFP parliamentarians held a special discussion regarding the no-confidence motion at Minister Mahinda Amaraweera’s official residence this morning.
More than 25 MPs representing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party participated in that meeting, according to State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.
He stated that they decided to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister. Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Lakshmana Yapa Abeywardena and around 20 other MPs of the SLFP are expected to support the motion.
In the backdrop of this, there is uncertainty over the continuation of the National Government when a section of one of its main stakeholders – the SLFP has opted to go against the Prime Minister.
It is therefore highly likely that the United National Party (UNP) would form a government on its own while the SLFP-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) takes over as the main opposition, replacing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
This would also lead to the appointing of a new Opposition Leader possibly from the group of MPs representing the majority in the opposition.
Range Bandara’s special statement
State Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training Palitha Range Bandara and a group of UNP Parliamentarians are scheduled to deliver a special statement to the media this evening (4).
The Ste Minister had famously criticized the UNP leadership following the Cabinet reshuffle in February and stated that several UNP members him included were ready to bring a motion of no-confidence against the PM.
Cabinet reshuffle on the offing?
UNP MP Nalin Bandara says that there is no agreement among MPs of the SLFP, only a division.
Several politicians who are Cabinet Ministers today will become just Members of Parliament tomorrow, he said talking to reporters today (4).
He stated that action will be taken against the members of the SLFP who signed the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister and individuals who criticized the PM.