Derailing talks between Podujana Peramuna and President:
Sports Minister and Co-Cabinet Spokesperson, Dayasiri Jayasekara cast blame on two key persons in the Joint Opposition (JO) for derailing negotiations between the Podujana Peramuna led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the SLFP led by President Maithripala Sirisena.
“One of them wants to become leader in another 20 years, so he wants the split to continue,” Minister Jayasekara added addressing the weekly Cabinet media briefing at the Department of Government Information.
According to Jayasekara, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena were interested in working together but the resolution of any conflict between the two factions within the SLFP was being held hostage by these two individuals.
“The various parties within the UPFA have said they wanted to continue talks within the Alliance. Their one request was to contest the Local Government elections independently and we allowed for that,”he added whilst the SLFP Central Committee also made the decision to only back SLFP members at the upcoming polls.
As the decision to contest the polls separately has been taken, Minister Jayasekara was of the view that under the current political system, no one party would be able to win a majority stake at the Local Government elections,
“Under the new mixed system, if a party does not win at least 60 percent of the seats, they will not be able to take power of the local government. According to our analysis, no party at present can win that majority.
Thus in certain places, the SLFP might win, UNP in others and other parties like Pohottuwa depending on their campaign. Thereafter all parties will eventually have to get together to run the local government”, he explained.
Co-Cabinet spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilake said the UNP had met at Temple Trees on Tuesday evening to discuss the strategy for the Local Government polls.
He believed that it was customary for the public to vote for the party controlling the central government in order to have the Local Government work for them.
The SLFP in the meantime too hopes that its position at the national level will give it an edge at the Local Government polls. “We can now work for our electorates because we are in power.The SLFP voter will not have benefitted otherwise,” Minister Jayasekara said.