Follow Us:

New SL PM, Cabinet appointment likely to be delayed

“I think it is better if we have General Elections. Many Cabinet members have already stepped down. I think it is more effective to have a Government where the President and Cabinet are from the same party,” he stated.

SNS | New Delhi |

The appointment of a new Sri Lankan Prime Minister and Cabinet was likely to be delayed due to a pending a top-level meeting between newly- elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Addressing the media after a religious ceremony organised for his 74th birthday, the Opposition Leader in Parliament opined that it would be more effective to have a Government where the President and Cabinet were from the same party in the future, the Daily Financial Times reported.

“I think it is better if we have General Elections. Many Cabinet members have already stepped down. I think it is more effective to have a Government where the President and Cabinet are from the same party,” he stated.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who served as Defence Minister when Mahinda Rajapaksa was Defence Minister and saw the end of the nearly three-decade-long civil war in 2009, was elected the island nation’s seventh President after winning the November 16 election.

Sri Lanka’s ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa conceded his defeat in the presidential poll on Sunday and congratulated his main rival, former wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Premadasa, 52, of the ruling party, was trailing at 44.4 per cent. He had strong support in minority Tamil areas and a poor showing in larger Sinhalese constituencies.

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said at least 80 per cent of the 15.99 million eligible voters participated in Saturday’s poll, which was marred by isolated violence that left several people injured.

Rajapaksa conducted a nationalist campaign with a promise of security and a vow to crush religious extremism in the Buddhist-majority country following the April 21 suicide bomb attacks blamed on a homegrown terror group.

Three luxury hotels and three churches were targeted in the coordinated bombings. ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack, which left 45 foreigners dead.

Under the 19th Amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution, the term of Parliament was reduced from six to five years and the powers given to the President to dissolve Parliament to the end of one year was increased to four-and-a-half years.

The incumbent parliament first met on September 1, 2015, and hence the President can dissolve it by the end of February when it completes four-and-a-half years of its term.

Early dissolution will require a motion to be passed in Parliament with a two-thirds majority.

(With inputs from agency)