National Govt. in 2019?

The United National Party (UNP) said that the National Government formed following the 2015 general elections was still valid since two parties to the agreement to form the pre-26 October, 2018 Unity Government are still stakeholders of the existing Government.

United National Front (UNF) MP and Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara told The Sunday Morning that the National Government does not cease to exist, because one party to the agreement to form the government decides to withdraw.

He explained that the National Government that was formed following the 2015 general election consisted of the UNP, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

“It is only the SLFP that withdrew. The SLMC is still with the UNP in the Government. Thereby, the National Government continues,” Madduma Bandara said.

When asked as to how the UNP plans to move to the next step to ensure the formation of a national government, the Minister said that the necessary steps will be taken at the right time. “Let’s wait and see,” he said.

The Attorney General (AG) meanwhile advised the UNP to submit a motion to Parliament to form a national government, The Sunday Morning learnt.

The UNP-led UNF sought the advice of the AG to form a national government in order to expand the Cabinet of Ministers.

UNF Parliamentarian, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told The Sunday Morning that the AG had advised the UNF to submit a motion to Parliament and seek majority support to form a national government.

When The Sunday Morning contacted Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya he refused to comment on the matter.

Leader of the House Minister of Public Enterprise Lakshman Kiriella also echoed Madduma Bandara’s views.

He told The Sunday Morning that the new Government could function as a national government and the SLFP’s withdrawal on 26 October did not have an impact on it.

The UNF has already stated that the number of cabinet ministers has to be increased further to accommodate MPs from the SLFP who have joined the UNF Government.

[Easwaran Rutnam and Skandha Gunasekera | The Sunday Morning]

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