- People currently expect the government to take austerity measures. In such a situation, we will lose face if the size of the Cabinet is increased further
By Kelum Bandara
President Ranil Wickremesinghe is reported to have stood his ground, refusing to allocate any more Cabinet portfolios despite persistent requests from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Daily Mirror learns.
The president has continuously resisted requests to increase the size of the Cabinet even despite some MPs such as S.B. Dissanayake warning to explore ways to topple the government. The position has been taken over concerns that such a move will discredit the government in the public eye.
“People currently expect the government to take austerity measures. In such a situation, we will lose face if the size of the Cabinet is increased further,” a source close to the president said.
However, the government mulls addressing concerns raised by some of the state ministers who complain about their Cabinet ministers not delegating responsibilities to them.
The Constitution provides for the President to appoint a Cabinet of 30 though only 22 Cabinet ministers have been appointed. The SLPP is the main party that backs the president in Parliament. SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa maintains regular communication with the President who is the leader of the United National Party (UNP). The two leaders meet at least once a month to discuss political issues
The government is also gearing up for the presidential election scheduled for the latter part of next year.