Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would lead any alliance or government formed in collaboration with the SLFP faction led by President Maithripala Sirisena, the Joint Opposition (JO) has decided.
Addressing the meeting attended by a large number of JO seniors and party leaders, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke about widespread speculations on forming a coalition government with President Maithripala Sirisena.
The former President said he had made no decision to enter into an alliance with Sirisena and assured JO leaders would be consulted before making any such commitment.
UPFA Parliamentarian Janaka Tennakoon, a senior member of SLFP, said there could not be two leaders in any government.
“Our leader is Mahinda Rajapaksa. Any future government – be it coalition or caretaker – should be led by Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Tennakoon said.
The leaders of the JO then decided to empower former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make a final decision on the matter, on behalf of the group.
There are conflicting views within the JO group on the possibility of forming a new government or alliance with President Sirisena. While a section of the group is pushing for an alliance with Sirisena, a sizable proportion of its members have opined that the SLPP should work towards the dissolution of the current Parliament and form a new government with a fresh mandate.
The group led by Basi Rajapaksa, the chief ideologue of the Rajapaksa group, believes that entering into an alliance with Sirisena will put the party at a disadvantage at the Presidential election.
Basil Rajapaksa had stressed that a new government should be formed with a fresh mandate.