MR, seeing the wood for the trees | Daily News

MR, seeing the wood for the trees

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called on the government for the immediate dissolution of parliament and holding a snap election, since it has lost its mandate to govern following the defeat at the LG polls. Earlier, on Sunday, the likes of Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila, too, stated as much as the results were being announced. No doubt, the adrenalin of victory flowing through their veins has blinded MR and his cohorts to reality.

Both, the former President and his disciples in the JO are well aware that parliament cannot be dissolved until after four and a half years since the day of its official summoning, as explained by UNF National List MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramarathne yesterday. Winning a majority of local council elections can have no bearing on parliament.

The general election was held in August 2015, and, the President is empowered to dissolve parliament, if he so wishes, only in February 2020, and, the JO will have to sweat it out a good two years, to the day, before this could happen, if at all.

Of course there are many imponderables, in the intervening period. The presidential election is due in January 2020, and, at this stage, it is premature to speculate who will run for president, either from the UNP, SLFP, or, the pohottuwa. A realignment of forces also cannot be ruled out, or, as happened in 2015, a Common Candidate thrown up. Mahinda Rajapaksa, of course, will be out of the reckoning, having had his wings clipped by the 19th amendment, even in the event there is a realignment of forces.

Besides, the outcome of an election to chose local government members whose chief concern will be to attend to such matters as garbage disposal and the repairs to culverts and roads in towns and villages cannot be a criteria to judge the strength of a mandate received by a government at a general election, which is what Rajapaksa and his team are bent on. That mandate is for a term of five years and it has to run its ordinary course, unless the President decides to terminate it after four and half years. Besides, the President cannot dissolve parliament at a time of Rajapaksa’s choosing, even if he wants to, due to the constitutional bar. One recalls that during the tenure of Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake the government lost almost all the local government elections and even by-elections, but there was no call for the government to step down.

It is being speculated that the UNP is set to form a government of its own, with its partners in the UNF, and, party men have expressed confidence of securing a working majority towards this end, perhaps with the support of some SLFP ministers and MPs. If this happens, it will be the end of road for the unity government, which was welcomed by most, as this brought about a breath of fresh air into an otherwise contentious and acrimonious political milieu, in this country. Circumstances certainly had changed, with the results of the LG poll.

It is time that, whatever shape the government takes, it gets its act together. In a way, the jolt the government received could well be a blessing in disguise. It has two full years in which to make amends, and, introduce people friendly policies that could turn the tide. There will be at least two national budgets, to present, during this period, and, the government could come up with the goods.

However, in no way should law and order and the principles of good governance be compromised. The cases pending against the corrupt under the former regime should be pursued with, in all earnest. Like JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa said, the other day, this election was fought by the Rajapaksa camp for much higher stakes than is normally the case with a mundane local council elections. Rajapaksa and Co. were all out to use the victory gained to suppress investigations against the corrupt acts of the former first family, hoping that the police officers and members of the judiciary would sit on the cases. There is also general talk that, with the pohottuwa victory, the people could now be mobilized to surround court houses, in a much bigger way than before, in shows of strength, by which they hope to intimidate the judiciary.

This electoral setback by the government should also not be allowed to deteriorate into a state where the state machinery could be paralyzed by politically motivated acts in the state sector. There have been instances in the past where public servants, sympathetic to certain political parties, engaging in sabotage, at a time the political equation has changed. As already mentioned, there is a full two years left in the present government’s lifespan and no slackening in official functions should be tolerated. The government should assert itself in this respect. Just because the opposition won a Pradeshiya Sabha election, the state machinery is still in the hands of the government and it should not hesitate to deal firmly with those who are of a different mindset. 


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Before any elections the public needs to have real facts about the economy of the Country;about the corruption committed by rulers since 2000; about the way solve the minorities issues; about unlawful Tortures,rapes & murders of the innocents; about the amount of wealth of contesting candidates and how they obtained them;about the NEW CONSTITUTION


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