SLFP assesses reasons for MR’s defeat
SLFP MPs assessed that its campaign was flawed with lack of communication among its organizers right from the beginning. The centralization of decision making power in the hands of a few, according to the SLFP seniors,denied the party of realizing certain developing ground realities, disadvantageous to its candidate
At a weekend workshop in Katunayake, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) took stock of things that led to the defeat of Mr. Rajapaksa as its candidate. In this respect, the impact of social media was among the salient matters that drew the attention of SLFP MPs.
The social media was not the sole factor that brought about the downfall of Mr. Rajapaksa at the last election. A myriad of reasons led him to his eventual defeat, and the party assessed all of them with the help of some resource persons selected for the purpose.
The party seniors opined that the alienation of minority communities, the middle class people, professional groups and the academia took their toll on the party candidate.
SLFP MPs assessed that its campaign was flawed with lack of communication among its organizers right from the beginning. The centralization of decision making power in the hands of a few, according to the SLFP seniors,denied the party of realizing certain developing ground realities, disadvantageous to its candidate . It was opined that there was lack of communication within the party structure during the campaign, and it left some members disillusioned.
The workshop was meant for a review of the current political developments and an assessment of factors that led to the defeat of the party candidate. Then, the party discussed the way forward under the changed political climate, and fresh challenges emerging from various quarters.
Most MPs mooted the idea to form a national government in Parliament, particularly for the implementation of the constitutional reforms and electoral reforms as two interwoven aspects. The government, in the execution of its 100 day programme, looks inclined to prioritize the enactment of constitutional reforms over electoral reforms, yet SLFP sounds keen to have both of them taken up as parts of the same exercise.
Some SLFP seniors were not in favour of the national government concept as they weighed the pros and cons of such a joint effort for ruling the country over a period. In such an eventuality, some members held the view that Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a vocal critique and a driving force of public opinion, would virtually become the key party in the opposition.
Though a final decision was not taken regarding the formation of a national government, the President’s Media Unit issued a statement saying that the SLFP consensus had been announced for a national unity government.
In its statement, the President’s Media Unit clearly stated that a national government had been agreed upon by the SLFP at this hour, and the modalities for it would be worked out later. Probably, President Maitripala Sirisena has taken an interest in co-habitation between the two main parties-SLFP and the United National Party (UNP) – to facilitate the smooth execution of the 100 day programme. The enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which seeks to transfer some executive powers to Parliament and to re-establish independent commissions, is the primary objective to be achieved during this period.
The SLFP and UNP remain engaged with each other at this moment to make sure that this important piece of legislation sees the light of day. The committees, appointed by each party, will meet even today for a further discussion.
The government has already evolved an outline of the proposed constitutional reforms and presented it to other parties in the form of a discussion paper for perusal. In the meantime, the SLFP has also come up with its own set of proposals, both for constitutional reforms and electoral reforms. According to the top sources, the two parties have differences on their proposals, but they are not considered irreconcilable through bilateral discussions. 1
Though a final decision was not taken regarding the formation of a national government, the President’s Media Unit issued a statement saying that the SLFP consensus had been announced for a national unity government