Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided to support Opposition Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential Election, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem announced a short while ago.
Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, SLMC Leader Hakeem said that he resigned from the ministerial portfolio as well. “I have already sent the resignation letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” he told media.
SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem who made this announcement at a media briefing last morning, said his party’s decision to quit the government was mainly due to lack of good governance the present regime had shown.
He said the 18th Amendment which was introduced by this government took away the good governance. Mr. Hakeem said his party was not aware that the government was going to repeal the 17th Amendment.
“We thought the only purpose of the 18th Amendment was to give the incumbent President few more chances to run for the Presidency, but the section with regard to repealing the 17th Amendment was brought in at the last minute,” he said.
However he said the Bodu Bala Sena and the issues, which the Muslims had to face during recent times also had some impact on his party’s decision to leave the government.
Mr. Hakeem said his party would have to sign an agreement with the UNP in future when it comes to elections.
The decision of the SLMC to quit the government and the decision of its provincial ministers in the Eastern Province will push the ruling UPFA into a minority in the Eastern Provincial Council as well.
But responding to a question raised by journalists, he said his party did not intend to create some kind of destruction in the Provincial Council, but would make an appropriate decision on January 12 when the council met.
“There won’t be any issue for us as we will support whatever administration that would govern the country by then,” he said.
Currently the SLMC has eight seats in Parliament according to Mr. Hakeem, while the party has 13 members in various Provincial Councils.
In addition the party has 163 members including 13 Chairpersons and Mayors in local bodies.