Colombo, Feb 19 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maithripala Sirisena, on Monday ended days of political uncertainty in the country, saying it would continue to be a member of the unity government to push for ‘major changes’ within the government.
SLFP Parliamentarian and Minister of Social Empowerment, S.B Dissanayake said the SLFP and its United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) decided to remain in the government and end the uncertainty over the future of their coalition.
He said the SLFP had held extensive talks with President Sirisena on Monday at the Presidential Secretariat and the party had vowed to remain with the President and support his decisions.
He however said the SLFP would work towards appointing a SLFP Prime Minister and would seek to strengthen the party in Parliament by garnering more support.
“We decided to make a massive change within the government. We will remain with our decision to make those changes and do what is necessary,” Dissanayake told reporters after meeting the President.
“We will not leave the unity government,” he added.
The future of Sri Lanka’s unity government was uncertain when the ruling United National Party led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Sirisena led SLFP were defeated in a local government election held on Feb 10.
Since the two parties defeat, several SLFP Ministers had asked for the resignation of the Prime Minister and urged the President to form a SLFP led government.
UNP Ministers had also called on the Prime Minister to quit the unity government and form a UNP led government instead.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, however at a media briefing held last week said the UNP would not quit the unity government and he would continue as the Prime Minister, according to the Sri Lankan constitution.
At the Feb 10 local government polls, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s newly formed political party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, also known as Sri Lanka People’s Front achieved a landslide victory by winning 239 councils out of 340.
The UNP won 41 councils while the SLFP won 10.