The UNF government will form a National Government before the end of February with the help of nine SLFP members who have pledged their support to the UNF, House Leader Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday.
He said the motion to form the National Government would be presented at the next session of Parliament that would start on February 20.
“We have no doubt that we can pass the motion with ease with the support of the nine SLFP members who have already pledged their support. I expect to move the motion in Parliament on February 20,” the minister said.
He dismissed the claim that the UNF was attempting to form a National Government with the single SLMC member State Minister of Social Empowerment, Seyed Ali Sahir Moulana.
“We have more than enough numbers to pass the motion for the National Government in Parliament with a minimum of nine members crossing over to our side from the SLFP, with the assurance of several members from other parties that they would also join the UNF government after the National Government was formed, most probably in the last week of this month,” the minister said.
He said the National Government would be formed with the approval of Parliament.
"The then president Mahinda Rajapaksa had a 63-member Cabinet arbitrarily increased the number of ministers without the approval of Parliament. When we attempt to do it in a democratic way, the joint opposition cries foul. We are doing it under the provisions of the 19rh Amendment, which permits the political party with the most number of seats in Parliament to join other parties to form a National Government," the minister said.
He invited all political parties and parliamentarians who desired to contribute to the accelerated development drive of the National Government to join and added that he was not going to reveal the names and political parties expected to join the National Government because the ‘Black Media’ assisted by the JO would disrupt the move (Sandun A. Jayasekera)