MR calls for general election

Published : 12:10 am  February 13, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (146) reads | 
  • Not interested in manipulating the numbers
  • People had expressed their anger at the Govt. 
  • We won this election with much difficulty

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Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana

 

By Kelum Bandara and Lahiru Pothmulla

Upbeat by the success at the local polls, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the government to dissolve Parliament and hold a snap general election.  He told a news conference the people had given a clear verdict against the government and though it was a local election it had assumed a national significance because they considered it as a chance to vent their anger against the government which ruled the country for three years.  

 

We won this election with much difficulty. The parties that opposed me at the 2015 presidential election shared responsibilities. The two main parties shared the Cabinet posts. The others were given posts in the opposition. We were not recognized even as the main opposition and even denied justice in the allotment of time for speeches in Parliament

 

  He told a news conference that the people had given a clear verdict against the government and though it was a local election it had assumed a national significance because the people considered it to be a referendum to vent their anger against the government which ruled the country for three years.   


However, Parliament cannot be dissolved by the President for four and half years unless there is a resolution by the House for it.   


When asked whether the joint opposition would move such a resolution, Mr. Rajapaksa said the government would oppose it.   


“So, that is why we are asking them to initiate it. There has to be a national election right now for people to elect their representatives,”he said.   


Mr. Rajapaksa said he was not interested in forming a government by manipulating the numbers in the current Parliament.   


“We are not ready to manoeuvrer and manipulate the numbers. I am not prepared for any conspiracy of the kind hatched by someone after a hopper-meal,” Mr. Rajapaksa said and stressed the need for the government go for a snap general election before next year’s presidential election.   


“We won this election with much difficulty. The parties that opposed me at the 2015 presidential election shared responsibilities. The two main parties shared the Cabinet posts. The others were given posts in the opposition. We were not recognized even as the main opposition and even denied justice in the allotment of time for speeches in Parliament,” he said.   


When asked whether he would take over the chairmanship of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), he said that had to be decided by the members of the party.   


“The Sirisena whom I know will not give it up,” he said.    To a question asked on the constitution-making process, he said he would support the abolition of executive presidency.

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