The appointment of a new Central Bank Governor might need “a little more time” as the two main political parties in the coalition government are said to be looking for a so-called “common candidate,” which both parties could agree upon, unofficial sources said.
Though President Sirisena stated on Wednesday that the new Governor’s appointment would be done “within hours”, no such appointment was announced either on the same day or yesterday. A source close to the developments said President Sirisena, who represents the SLFP, favoured the promotion of a Central Banker while the Premier Wickremasinghe who represents the UNP, preferred an outsider.
The incumbent Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s term ended at 6.00 p.m. yesterday. Civil society organizations and good governance activists have vehemently opposed the reappointment of Mahendran to the post, amid allegations of rigging the country’s bond market in favour of a bond dealership owned by his son-in-law—a charge he has strongly denied.
Several ministers representing the SLFP in the government also have voiced their opposition to the reappointment of Mahendran to the top post.
A Governor is appointed for a six-year term and the Monetary Law Act says a Governor shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Finance Minister.