Confusion will reign until a new govt. is elected:DEW

11 April 2015 02:37 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Veteran politician, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, DEW Gunasekara talks about the current political situation in the country with the Daily Mirror



 

Q   What are your comments on the National Government?

I cannot identify it as a National Government in terms of correct political terminology. I would rather call it a coalition government or cohabitating government or preferably a probationary government since the existence of the government is dependent on the support of the opposition.

 

Q    What is your attitude towards the new government?

Clearly, our party is in the opposition. We have been recognized with the Opposition by the Speaker after the Presidential Election. We give our critical support to the 100-day programme, particularly for Constitutional and Electoral reforms. These reforms are what we have been agitating for ever since the enactment of the 1978 Constitution.

 


"It appears that a split in the SLFP right down the middle is imminent and inevitable if this crisis cannot be resolved sooner rather than later. It is unfortunate that this is happening at this critical juncture in our post war history"



 

Q    What is this new crisis within the opposition?

This is an integral part of the crisis that originated with the transfer of the SLFP leadership to President Maithripala Sirisena from former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. After all, there are only a few weeks before the impending dissolution of Parliament.

 

Q    How do you look at this recurring crisis within the SLFP?

Fundamentally, this is an inevitable crisis brought about by the abuse of inner party democracy within the SLFP under the executive presidency for many years. This negated the emergence of a new generation with leadership qualities under the previous SLFP leadership thus creating a leadership vacuum in the process.

 

Q    What is your stand on the 19th Amendment?

It is in conformity with the policies of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. Certain provisions which warrant a Referendum are not permissible. So we will support it. We await the Supreme Court determination on this.

 

Q   Are you not placing any conditions for your support?

The only condition if at all is both the Constitutional and Electoral reforms should be brought together before Parliament prior to the dissolution.

 

Q   What do you want to see take place with the Electoral reforms?

There is a consensus on the doing away with ‘Manape’ – preferential votes and using a mixed system. The most democratic system should have been the proportional representative system. But since there is a strong demand from the people for an identified Parliamentary seat, we are compelled to opt for a mixed system aka FPP – Mixed and PR (national) system. We are trying our best to arrive at a consensus on the number of seats assigned to each stream. If we are ready for an increase of the number of seats in Parliament to 250, we may be able to satisfy all stakeholders.

 

Q   Why didn’t you associate yourself with the ‘bringing back Mahinda’ campaign?

We take a principled position on such matters. Firstly, we did not want to be a party to cause a split in the SLFP. It would not be in the interests of the country in the long run.
Secondly, this crisis arose from within due to the illogical transfer of SLFP leadership soon after the Presidential Election. So, MR himself was a party to the split. Thirdly, It is purely an internal matter of the SLFP. No policy issues are involved here.

 

Q   Where do you think this will leave the party?

It appears that a split in the party right down the middle is imminent and inevitable and if this crisis cannot be resolved sooner rather than later it could destroy the party. It is unfortunate that this is happening at this critical juncture in our post war history.

 

Q   What about the future?

This complicated and confused political situation will continue until a new government is elected after several elections. A new polarization of the political forces will take place after the elections. It might be a national government or cohabitating coalition government with no 2/3 majority or 5/6 majority like in the past. It will be a weak government under a reformed presidency.
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