Snap polls and the implementation of the death penalty have been put on hold, at least for the time being, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.
Addressing the monthly meeting with Editors, President Rajapaksa said that although diverse views had been expressed on both subjects, he had no intention of going ahead with a snap general election or the implementation of the death penalty, at least for the time being.
The President said the cost of an election and the confidence that he could command the majority in parliament at any given time were the factors that made him decide against an election.
`Some of the Ministers and MPs tell me that we should go for an early election but when I ask them whether they are prepared for one, they have second thoughts` the President said in a lighter vein.
Commenting on the implementing of the death penalty, the President said `Ours is a country where there are protests even if we try to kill a dog. Implementing the death penalty, is therefore something that we have to do, after weighing the pros and cons, carefully`.
However the President said he would go ahead with the much-spoken about Cabinet reshuffle to make sure that the right people got the subject ministries.
`What we did immediately after I came into office, was a kind of a rushed job. As a result there were some issues including overlapping of subject areas. To address this I have decided to reshuffle the Cabinet` President Rajapaksa said adding that the move was also aimed at curtailing some unnecessary expenses incurred due to lack of streamlining of ministry functions.
Meanwhile he said a decision had also been taken to give statutory status to the recently set up Economic Advisory Council of the government by a parliamentary act.
This is aimed at minimizing some ad hoc decisions taken with regard to the economy, the President said.
Commenting on the peace process, the President said although the government was forced to take military action in the face of LTTE provocations, the government`s stand that a final solution should be a negotiated one remained unchanged.
The President said the LTTE decision to target civilians, was indicative of the desperation of Tigers in the face of weakening military strength, since such attacks were mostly carried out during the early stages of the conflict.