Tensions within SLFP ranks over planned defections | Daily News


Tensions within SLFP ranks over planned defections

Tensions have escalated in restructuring and realignment of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Joint Opposition as 23 SLFP members have decided to leave the SLFP and become independent members of Parliament with five or six members to join the United National Party-led government.

Joint Opposition Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that he did not understand why any SLFP MP would want to leave the party or to team up with the UNP.

“The Joint Opposition and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party are forming a strong political alliance.

The United National Party is currently in a mess with all sorts of issues surrounding its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe,” Aluthgamage said.

“These 23 MPs cannot leave the SLFP and become independent MPs just like that,” he said.

“They cannot leave the party at their whim, if they want to do so they have to take the membership of the United National Party,” he said.

The Joint Opposition and the SLFP are to keep its 103 seats intact as per advice of President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“The President has clearly stated his stance that SLFP defectors will not get any ministerial positions. Besides it will be suicidal for them in terms of their political carriers,”said Aluthgamage.

“Anyway, there are only five or six members who want to join the UNP.

My personal opinion is, “let them do it”.”

The United National Party’s Mujibur Rahman said that he heard about the decision of some 23 or more SLFP MPs wanting to join with the government.

“I heard that some of them are going to join with us,” he said.

Asked if it was a problem for them to run the government without more MPs joining their party, Rahman said, “We can run the government without any problems because we have the majority.” 

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