The United National Party (UNP) is reported to have submitted the names of six MPs to President Maithripala Sirisena to be appointed as state ministers.
According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the President has to appoint ministers in consultation with the Prime Minister and as such, minister have to be appointed with the agreement of both parties.
However, the President has not yet decided whether to accede to the request made by the UNP led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
These six MPs are Palitha Range Bandara and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka from the UNP and A.H.M. Fowzie, Lakshman Seneviratne, Gamini Wijith Wijeyamuni Zoysa and Piyasena Gamage from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
Mr. Bandara is to be appointed as the State Minister of Irrigation while Mr. Fonseka as the Minister of Internal Affairs.
The government is unable to appoint any more Cabinet ministers since 19th Amendment restricts the number to 30. Any increase can only be carried out in the event of a national government. However, there is provision to appoint state, deputy and non-cabinet ministers even under normal circumstances. (Kelum Bandara)