The new Cabinet of ministers will take oaths tomorrow at 8.30 AM before President Maithripala Sirisena.
When contacted by Colombo Telegraph, a senior UNP Parliamentarian confirmed that they had been asked to be present at the President’s Office at 8.30 AM tomorrow for the swearing-in ceremony.
The appointment of a new Cabinet got delayed due to strong differences of opinion between President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP over several state institutions.
The President initially wanted control over the Police and the Ministry of Media. Colombo Telegraph learns that Mangala Samaraweera is likely to retain his previous position as the Minister of Finance and Media.
However, it is also learnt that there will be a compromise agreement between the President and the UNP over the control of state media institutions. President Sirisena will appoint his nominees to head several selected state media institutions while the UNP will nominate chairpersons for the remainder.
President Sirisena has also agreed to appoint a Law and Order Minister from the UNP. However, it is still not clear whether Sirisena has agreed to place the Department of Police under the Law and Order Minister, moving it out of the purview of the Defence Ministry.
UNP national list parliamentarians Malik Samarawickrama, D.M. Swaminathan and Thilak Marapana will not take up positions in the new Cabinet, Colombo Telegraph learns. They have voluntarily opted out of the Cabinet to allow Wickremesinghe to limit the Cabinet to 30 members.