Sri Lankan Tamil Party: President Sirisena has no choice in appointing Ranil Prime Minister
COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) believes that President Maithripala Sirisena would eventually recognise Ranil Wickremesinghe as the legitimate Prime Minister.
Following talks between President Sirisena and the United National Party (UNP) led United National Front (UNF) recently, Chairman of the UNP Kabir Hashim wrote to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) - which has agreed to back Ranil Wickremesinghe, stating that Wickremesinghe was its nominee for Prime Minister. A certified copy of the letter was sent to the President.
The TNA’s National List MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that in response to President Sirisena informing the TNA delegation headed by its leader R.Sampanthan, during their meeting in Colombo last week, that he had offered the premiership to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, prior to appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, they had told the President, "You could have avoided the chaos in Parliament and in the government sector, if only you had found out in advance, if the majority of the people’s representatives in the National Legislature would accept Rajapaksa as Premier and recognise his government. If you had consulted us, as the the main Opposition party, we would have made it clear to you that a change in the status quo that prevailed prior to October 26, would not be acceptable to Parliament."
Asked what the President’s response had been, Sumanthiran said that he had accepted his mistake in not obtaining the views of all parties.
Sumanthiran noted that even though Sirisena had reiterated he would not recognise Wickremesinghe as the legitimate Prime Minister, as demanded by the UNP led UNF, he believed that Sirisena would backtrack, since he had no choice, considering the support Wickremesinghe had in Parliament and also due to the legal implications of his actions, which they had explained to him in detail.
"As a first step to rectifying the mistakes that have been committed, it was good to hear the President acknowledge that Rajapaksa does not command the confidence of Parliament and suggest that a motion be passed in the House, calling for the appointment of a new Prime Minister this week."
Sumanthiran said that when Sirisena had reiterated his position on not re-appointing Wickremesinghe as Premier, Sampanthan queried how he could take such a strong stand when he had been elected President, mainly on UNP votes, to which Sirisena remained silent.
The TNA leader had also pointed out to the President, that installing Wickremesnghe as Prime Minister and reducing his (President’s) powers, were pledges on which he campaigned for the presidency and it was not correct both constitutionally and morally, to violate the trust the majority of voters had placed in him, Sumanthiran revealed.
Wickremesinghe, who maintains that he is the legitimate Prime Minister, said that all issues which had cropped up since October 26 , could be resolved by Parliament since it exercised people’s sovereignty on their behalf."The Chief Executive is bound to implement decisions taken by the National Legislature, as stipulated in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution."