UNP Matara District candidate Buddika Pathirana says party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will not hesitate even to sacrifice premiership to reach a post-poll agreement with the JVP-led Democratic National alliance (DNA) for the formation of the next government.
Answering a query by The Island following a remark to that effect he had made in a recent political talk show, Pathirana said the premiership would not be an issue, though he was their nominee for the post.
JVP heavyweight Lal Kantha, who was a participant in the programme on Sirasa, did not respond. He was not available for comment yesterday.
Pathirana emphasized that the JVP/DNA would have a say in the selection of the premier in the next election. Wickremesinghe had sacrificed many opportunities for the sake of the party, Pathirana said. Although the JVP had striven to depict the DNA as a political alliance, it had failed to attract any political party represented in the government.
Pathirana is the Opposition Leader of the Southern Provincial Council.
The new Parliament will meet on April 22.
SLFP dissident Mangala Samaraweera MP is reported to have said that the Opposition would form the next government even with a one-seat majority.
UNP sources told The Island that what Pathirana said was his personal opinion. The UNP would discuss the possibility of forming the next government with the JVP/DNA and any other political party, including the Tamil National Alliance. But, the premiership would definitely not be on the agenda for discussion, they said.
Government sources told The Island that the DNA general election campaign had portrayed defeated presidential election candidate, Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka as their prime ministerial candidate. Fonseka is in the fray in Colombo on the DNA ticket.
Sources pointed out that Fonseka, who is now under detention, is vying with Wickremesinghe for preferential votes in Colombo.
Minister Dallas Alahapperuma told The Island that an overwhelming victory for the UPFA was now inevitable in the backdrop of a landslide at the recently concluded presidential election. He said the Opposition was in chaos, though some leaders talked as if they had a chance to form the next government.
The JVP made an abortive bid to influence the appointment of Prime Minister in the last CBK administration. It went to the extent of nominating the then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Anura Bandaranaike or Maithripala Sirisena for the post.