SLPP considering interim Govt. if PM steps down

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and its alliance partners are reportedly considering an interim government to be formed under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa should Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe step down from office.

The political alliance which backed President Rajapaksa are said to be considering such a move on the basis that the dissolution of parliament on a resolution with a two-thirds majority looks impossible because several UNP MPs are opposed to such a move.

Some UNP MPs are prepared to support such a resolution and conduct a snap general election. However, the faction which supported Sajith Premadasa is not prepared to support such an exercise, insisting instead that the government should move to the opposition enabling the President to form a new government.

According to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, parliament cannot be dissolved by the President until it completes four and a half years. President Rajapaksa is constitutionally empowered to do so after March 1, 2020.

In such a scenario that the SLPP and those allied to it are preparing to form an interim government in case the Prime Minister resigns, an SLPP source said such a government would be formed with a limited Cabinet and a short-term agenda till parliament is dissolved after March 1, next year.

However, the present Cabinet will continue as long as the Prime Minister holds office.

Meanwhile, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has convened a meeting of party leaders today for a discussion on this matter. (Kelum Bandara)

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