The no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled by the Joint Opposition (JO) will force President Maithripala Sirisena to show where he stands politically, sources close to him told Colombo Telegraph.
‘The President is in a quandary because if he urges the party he leads, the SLFP, to support the motion it would throw the unity-arrangement with the UNP into disarray whereas opposing it would invite the charge that he is a lackey of the UNP, further alienating him from the party’s support base,’ sources disclosed.
Since the composition in Parliament makes it an uphill task for the motion to hold, the best option for the SLFP would be to orchestrate things to have a UNPer other than Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, sources further opined.
However, as per the 19th Amendment a no-confidence motion can only discredit and de-legitimate Wickremesinghe in the event that it holds but not oust him. Politically, however, the premiership would become untenable, forcing Wickremesinghe to either resign or come to an agreement for constitutional amendment that allows the dissolution of Parliament, a situation that is not to the liking of either the SLFP or the UNP.
The motion is scheduled to be taken up for debate on April 4, but in all likelihood the President will disclose his position and move accordingly before this, sources added.