Prez: Govt. has majority ‘More than 113 already mustered’ Primiership offered to Karu, Sajith Could not work with Ranil
Posted on November 5th, 2018

By Rathindra Kuruwita Courtesy The Island

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that the new government had already mustered more than 113 MPs out of 225 MPs. Addressing a rally in support of the new government near the Parliament complex, the President said that he had been compelled to appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minister as Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa had refused to take up the post.

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President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa waving at their supporters during a rally held near the Parliament complex yesterday. Pic by Sudath Silva

“I invited Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take up premiership about eight months ago. But he turned it down saying that he could not let down his leader. Then, I invited Sajith Premadasa to accept the post about two months ago as I could not work with Ranil Wickremesinghe. He also turned it down,”

The President said Wickremesinghe and the UNP had tried to create a rift between the UPFA wing of the former government and India. All vital decisions of the former regime had been made by ‘a butterfly group’ close to the ousted PM, the President added.

The President said he had wanted to appoint a leader with whom he could work and, therefore, he had appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa PM.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said, addressing the rally, that he respected the President for the historic decision the latter had made for the sake of the country.

He said that it would not be hard for him to cooperate with President Sirisena who was from the SLFP and represented the progressive forces of the country.

“We will continue to work together for the benefit of the future generations of this country without letting anyone destroy this alliance.”

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