UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has said he is willing to work with President Maithripala Sirisena if, given a chance to prove his majority in Parliament, the Hindu reported today.
On whether he could still work with the President, Mr. Wickremesinghe said: “I’ll have no problem working with him, that’s a question you must ask him. The Constitution doesn’t make provision for personal prejudices,” he said on Tuesday in an interview to The Hindu at Temple Trees.
Amid the persisting political crisis, Mr. Wickremesinghe is optimistic about an early recall of Parliament.
“The Parliament’s power is supreme and that is what the Speaker has upheld,” he said, referring to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s statement on Monday, noting that Mr. Rajapaksa will not be recognised as PM until he wins a floor test.
“I am confident of having the numbers,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said, adding: “The fact that they are delaying the recall is because they don’t have the numbers.”
Mr. Sirisena, who earlier suspended Parliament until November 16, has recalled the House for November 14. “The delay worries me because it makes the country more unstable,” the ousted PM said.
Mr. Wikremesinghe has ruled out a court appeal on the matter, citing the Parliament’s “supreme judicial powers.” Reiterating the position, he said: “Even if you go to court they will send you back to parliament on this matter. We are different from yours [Indian context].”
On his strategy to stabilise to the country, should he prove his majority, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the cabinet might have to be reconstituted because some had left it, and joined the “new cabinet” that Mr. Sirisena has sworn in. “But the Speaker has very well said the status quo of [last] Friday stands. Unless they prove a majority that stands.”
Asked what if Mr. Rajapaksa won the floor test Mr. Wickremesinghe, even before the question was completed, said: “He won’t be able to prove a majority.” Pressed again for a response to such a hypothetical scenario, he said: “I don’t know about hypothesis, I am talking about the actual situation. He does not have the numbers.”