Brothers in a brawl

Brothers in a brawl-BPN TODAY
  • Confusion as President, PM voice different views on how to overcome political stalemate
  • President hints he will seek  PM’s resignation ahead of setting up all-party Government
  • President says he is agreeable to all-party Govt. in letter to party leaders
  • Says new Govt. will be formed after PM, Cabinet step down
  • PM says President has not asked him to step down and is confident he will not be asked to do so in future
  • Meeting scheduled for tomorrow with constituent party leaders of SLPP including dissidents
  • SJB, JVP rule out power sharing with President in office

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hinted yesterday he would seek the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to facilitate the setting up of an all-party Government but the PM said he’s confident he would remain in office.

“The President has not asked me to step down and I am confident he will not ask me to do so either,” the Prime Minister said hours after the President’s plans to set up the all-party Government was announced.

The President sent a letter to party leaders in Parliament stating that he is agreeable to the proposal made by several political parties as well as members of the clergy to form an all-party Government as a measure to tide over the economic crisis facing the country.

The President said his decision to agree to the proposal was made after taking into consideration the requests made by the Maha Nayaka Theras, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, other religious leaders as well political parties and civil society organisations.

The all-party Government will be formed following the resignation of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, he said.

However, the Prime Minister said he is confident he can continue in his post.

“I have never been a  man to run away from challenges. In the face of this economic crisis we will not run away. I believe we can overcome this crisis,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a head of local authorities and district leaders of the SLPP.

The President has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow at the President’s House in Colombo to which leaders of the constituent parties of the SLPP have been invited to attend for a preliminary discussion.

He said they must first meet and discuss the proposal and work out the modalities of such a Government as well the period during which they will hold office and those who would be appointed to such an administration.

39 MPs of the SLPP who joined Opposition ranks last week have been among the strongest advocates for an all-party Government even though both the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) say they will not be party to any power sharing arrangement as along the President remains in office.

-Daily FT

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