Colombo, May 3: Basil Rajapaksa, a top leader of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), has reportedly said that when the question of naming a candidate of the post of Prime Minister in the proposed all-party government comes up in parliament, the SLPP will propose the name of the current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
According to the website www.adadeana.lk Basil Rajapaksa had said so at the meeting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had with representatives of the 11-party alliance and the SLPP on the formation of an all-party government.
Basil Rajapaksa justified the SLPP’s position in this matter by recalling that Mahinda Rajapaksa had a secured the required mandate in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
President Gotabaya had asked the 11-party alliance (a breakaway group of the ruling alliance led by the SLPP) to set up a committee of five to campaign in parliament for an all-party interim government to run the country till fresh parliamentary elections.
The idea of an all-party government is being touted by the 11-party rebel group to solve the severe economic problem Sri Lanka is going through. The President is going along with this.
However, the 11-party rebel group and the main SLPP are divided on the continuance of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister. The rebel group is keen on ousting him, while, as Basil Rajapaksa reportedly said that Mahinda will be the party’s candidate for PM.
As a matter of fact, Mahinda Rajapaksa does not want to resign as demanded by the 11-party rebel group and as desired by the President. Mahinda has said that he would rather get dismissed and sit in the opposition benches in parliament than be part of a government in which he is not PM.
Mahinda claims that he has the support of SLPP members and workers at the provincial and local body levels. He is also claiming that he has majority support in the parliament of 225 members.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) presented to the parliament Speaker two No Confidence Motions, one against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the other against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Tamil National Alliance is preparing an NCM against the President.