Following the unprecedented defeat for the ruling coalition at the recently concluded local government elections, it is likely that a broadly two-party system will evolve according to sources from the major political formations.
It was reported that Ranil Wickremesinghe was to request President Maithripala to sanction the forming of all-UNP government now that the ‘unity agreement’ between the SLFP and the UNP has expired.
Sources envisage a rapid decline of the SLFP which, under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena could muster less than 15% of the vote, with the majority joining the Joint Opposition and therefore the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) while those who for various reason will either not join the SLPP or will not be welcome siding with Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP.
Meanwhile the President has maintained a stony silence following the electoral debacle, but is expected to make ‘a special statement’ subsequent to ongoing feverish discussion with political confidantes.
However, sources close to Sirisena told Colombo Telegraph that he will do his best to stop such developments.
In the event that a UNP forms a government on its own the cabinet will necessarily be downsized to 30 as per the 19th Amendment to the Constitution where it can only exceed that number in a situation where there is a ‘National Government.’