A major split in the Rajapaksa camp is imminent with at least five UPFA parliamentarians who have opted to sit in the opposition slated to reverse their decisions.
Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajith Senaratne yesterday confirmed that four members of the UPFA opposition group in parliament will join the Sirisena-Ranil led, so-called national government in the next few days.
However, the Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that the number of MP’s who will join the government after Sirisena promising them several portfolios could be five or six.
According to government sources, a key Rajapaksa ally, a Colombo district parliamentarian has been promised a ministerial post after his cross over.
This MP who has been more with the UNP than the UPFA during his long career in politics is slated to join his former colleagues.
Meanwhile another MP from the Kurunegala district a former non-cabinet minister in the Rajapaksa regime too is slated to cross over.
A former Journalist representing the Southern province and a former Cabinet minister’s son from the same province is whispered as two other possible candidates who have said “Aye” to Sirisena’s overtures.
Meanwhile a young parliamentarian from Kandy and a former Pradeshiya Sabha member from the Gampaha district who successfully contested the recent general election too have voiced consent to join government ranks.
A close aide to a powerful cabinet minister said that Sirisen’a latest move to rope in more dissident UPFA MP’s to his side comes in the wake of the UPFA rebels decision to break ranks with the coalition and contest as a separate party at the upcoming local government polls, with Rajapaksa’s blessings.
Several SLFP and MP’s from other UPFA affiliated political parties in recent times have openly criticized Sirisena’s leadership stating that either the SLFP or the coalition UPFA (whichever will contest the upcoming polls) will not be able to achieve victory as long as Sirisena is at the helm.