He said he will form a government with the victorious political parties after August 17 election and he has no intention of appointing Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.
Speaking to media on the current political developments at the Presidential Secretariat today (July 14) the President said that if the SLFP win the election there are several senior politicians in the party to be the Prime Minister. Former President Rajapaksa who did not allow the deserving seniority get their due post is now trying again to deny party seniors premiership by attempting to be PM even after completing two terms of presidency.
President Sirisena said that his first intention was to dissolve the parliament on January 10 immediately after resuming as President on January 9. However he could not do so as he had to fulfill the task given under the 100 day programme. As promised I made Ranil Wickremesinghe as PM though the UNP had only 47 members in Parliament and succeeded in implementing the 100 day program that included the 19th amendment to curtain excessive powers of Executive Presidency, he said.
The President said that when the vast majority of UPFA members demanded that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given nomination and make him the Prime Ministerial candidature, he pointedly refused these demands. However, when he had to dissolve the parliament to prevent Mahinda Rajapaksa from becoming Prime Minister by defeating Ranil Wickemesaighe in a no confident motion and enter parliament as a National list member, but he prevented these designs by dissolving the parliament. Once the nomination and election days were announced, the UPFA members demanded that Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given nominations. “Then I was left with two options. One is to resign from the party leadership. But if I had done that Mahinda Rajapaksa would have become the party President and appointed only his people as candidates for the election leaving out all those who supported the common candidate at the presidential election. To prevent that I decided to remain the party leadership but allow them to nominate him as a candidate, though I am still opposed to this. This led to political analysts and the media vehemently attacking me as a villent and a betrayer. I take all these criticisms in my style, as this reflects the blooming of democracy and media freedom which was lacking prior to January 8. But you will realize in the near future that my actions due to my belief that there should be a bicameral party system for the survival of democracy in a country and I always wanted to prevent annihilation of a political party after an electoral debacle, as it happened in 1970, 1977 and again in 2010” the President said.
President Sirisena said that despite many obstacles the government which was formed on January 8 would provide benefits to people, salary increase to public servants, reduction of fuel and gas prices and take effective steps to reduce powers of the president and transfer them to the constitution council and other institutions.
The President said that his role in the general election is to ensure, free, democratic and impartial election is held and to extend his fullest support to the election commissioner, police and the officials for that purpose. “I will remain impartial in the coming election and urge the people to select those who are suitable to march forward with the January 08 mandate” said the President. After the election results are declared for the next five years I will take forward the transformation that began on January 8 and continue in the same past for the next five years, and I am certain that the people will judge me by the end of that period. President Sirisena appealed to the media not to misuse the media freedom and enjoy the blooming of democratic rights and media freedom in the country objective.