It seems President Maithripala Sirisena is attempting to turn dark blue into a light blue, while being faced with the challenge of staying away party politics.
As Colombo Telegraph reported earlier, President Sirisena was determined to stay away from party politics despite taking over the reins of the SLFP but it seems he cannot remain steadfast as he has realized that engaging with party politics is necessary to a certain extent to facilitate the smooth implementation of the 100-day program.
Hence, it seems he is now trying to steer the party in a new direction. Responding to a query directed at him during an interview in the ITN, the President said despite the Executive Presidency wielding unprecedented powers, he realized that the 100-day plan nor its proposals could be implemented without a 2/3 majority in the parliament.
“Therefore in order to ensure the successful implementation of the 100-day program, it was vital to get the support of the SLFP. A total of 127 seats are held by SLFP MPs off the total 225 seats in the parliament. So my acceptance of the party Chairmanship was necessary in order to fulfill the pledges I made to the people,” he said adding without the SLFP support, they risked the creation of a political crisis and the failure of the 100-day program.
The President also said the creation of the national government, which they pledged to establish following the victory, could not have been created without the participation of the two leading political parties in the country.
“It should also be noted that the concept of the national government is not one that would be limited until the announcement of a general election. This system will continue for at least two more years until this country is brought out of its present plight, hence it would continue to function even following the general elections,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Sirisena said that his aspiration of building a political culture that is free of violence and ensures peaceful co-existence among differing political views, is being met with many challenges.
“This is a concept that is alien to many as our political sphere has for too long been exposed to violence and petty party politics. So still there are those who try to sabotage this movement. But I urge everyone to set aside their differences and work together to steer this country in a new direction,” he added.
SLFP party supporters say it’s time to change party’s official colour dark blue into light blue according to new the president’s politics.