UPFA MP Dilan Perera said yesterday if the Muslim ministers, state ministers and the deputy minister, who resigned from their posts in support of MP Rishad Bathiudeen were sworn in again, the joint opposition would move a no-confidence motion against Mr. Bathiudeen.
He said he was aware of the remarks made by former deputy minister Ameer Ali in Parliament on Thursday soon after the government defeated the NCM that Muslim ministers were ready to accept their posts and charged that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had split the Muslim community right in the middle after persuading them to resign instead of only Mr. Bathiudeen.
The MP charged that the JVP introduced the NCM to avoid the NCM against him and the government defeated it after promising bribes to the TNA and the CWC.
He told a media conference that neither the SLPP nor the SLFP would win the presidential if they they field two candidates and campaign separately.
“The arithmetic is simple. At the February 2018 local government polls, the SLPP secured five million votes and the SLFP 1.5 million while the winning candidate at the presidential poll needs to secure a minimum of 6.5 million votes. Therefore, a joint opposition candidate obtaining 6.5 million votes with a SLPP-SLFP led campaign is not a difficult task. Mahinda knows this, Gota knows this and the President knows this. Therefore, unity between the SLFP/UPFA and the SLPP is extremely vital to win the presidential elections," the MP said.
He said a few in the SLFP, who are suffering from ‘Political Hydrophobia’ were unable to see this truth and say the SLFP could contest the presidential poll separately.
"The alliance to face the UNP is like a plate of rice. Rice is the SLPP and vegetables and fish are like the SLFP. Both need to partake in the plate of rice. A single party cannot do that. The dark horse in Anuradhapura and fair skinned horse in Kurunegala must accept this fact,” the MP said.
He said defeating the NCM was not a victory for the government because the UNP led government has disintegrated as never before.
Commenting on the SOFA, the MP said SOFA to be signed shortly is much different from the one signed during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s rule. Though the agreement has been reduced to five pages from seven pages as the Prime Minister says, the most dangerous conditions are found in the addendum that runs to 52 pages. (Sandun A Jayasekera)