Dissolving Parliament and Polls only way out of political impasse: UPFA
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday insisted that dissolving Parliament and going for a General Election was the only way out of the current political impasse. Its leaders and Ministers further accused ousted Prime Minister (PM) Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of forcing the President’s hand by attempting to drag the country into a “state of anarchy.”
Blame for the present ‘ Constitutional Crisis’ lay firmly with Mr Wickremesinghe and Mr Jayasuriya, the UPFA bigwigs alleged.
Addressing a media briefing held at the PM’s office, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna ( MEP) Leader Dinesh Gunawardena insisted that the Government had followed all Constitutional provisions. “Today, the people of this country can decide by their free franchise to elect a new Parliament and a new Government thereafter,” he stressed.
Mr Gunawardena also scoffed at claims that Parliament had been dissolved because the UPFA lacked the numbers to show a majority in Parliament. “We have more MPs than Ranil Wickremesinghe. He lost several of his MPs to us. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) had clearly indicated they would not be part of a UNP Government. As such, it is clear that President Sirisena and PM Rajapaksa had a majority.”
The UPFA also reiterated the alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Sirisena was what prompted the President to act fast “to protect democracy.” National Freedom Front ( NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa claimed that some of those directly involved in the conspiracy were now holed up at Temple Trees. He accused the UNP, its alliance partners, certain Colombo based Western diplomatic missions and Non Governmental Organizations of trying to create a false impression that democracy in the country was in peril.
“If he (Wickremesinghe) felt that his rights had been violated, he could easily have petitioned the Supreme Court. This did not happen. He forcibly took control of Temple Trees and claimed to still be PM. He even sent a Deepavali message as the PM. This created an unnecessary crisis,” Mr Weerawansa claimed.
Strong criticism was also directed at the Speaker, with UPFA MPs claiming he had overstepped his boundaries in attempting to hold a floor test by suspending Standing Orders when Parliament reconvenes on November 14. They also claimed he had attempted to persuade Western nations to meddle in the country’s internal affairs.
Minister D ay a s i r i Jayasekara accused the UNP of trying to bribe UPFA MPs to cross over to their side, during the period Parliament had been prorogued. “If we allowed a situation where MPs could be auctioned away in this manner, it would have created further chaos in the country. As such, rather than let the 225 MPs in Parliament settle this, the President has taken measures to let 15 million voters in the country decide,” he claimed. The UPFA was confident that the Supreme Court wo u l d uphold the Constitutionality of the President’s actions, when they are challenged, said Minister Susil Premajayantha. When questioned whether the UPFA will contest under its own banner, or as the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), at the upcoming elections, Mr Premajayantha stressed that the policies of the UPFA and the SLPP “are now firmly aligned,” but refused to say under which party they would contest. “We will form a broad coalition. The party and the symbol will be made known in due course,” he added.
Dinesh Gunawardena addressing the media