Investment Promotions Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told a media briefing at the SLFP head office yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would issue a gazette extraordinary on November 19 instructing the Elections Commissioner to conduct a presidential election.
Commenting on speculations about crossovers from the government to the opposition and opposition to the government, the minister said a large number of opposition members were expected to crossover to the government.
“The list is long. But I cannot reveal all the names in the list as it will disrupt the ongoing interaction with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the opposition members who are expected to crossover to the government,” he said.
Responding to a journalist on speculation in political circles about a possible crossover to the government ranks by UNP’s propaganda head and Matara District parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera, Minister Yapa said there were no permanent friends or enemies in politics and anyone and everyone who supports the government and ensures the victory of President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential poll was welcomed.
He said the government had no issues about welcoming Samaraweera although he criticised the President Rajapaksa, his family, the government and its policies in a virulent and atrocious manner and sometimes even on a personal level. (Sandun A Jayasekera)