The ‘Unity Government’ is on collision course over the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, with the President and Prime Minister at odds over who should take the post.
President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to nominate SLFP MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle, one of the 16 dissidents who broke ranks with the Government and chose to sit in the Opposition.
The vacancy was created when Thilanga Sumathipala resigned and opted to sit in the opposition benches.
The appointment of Fernandopulle is likely to be contested because the United National Party will put forward a candidate of its own, according to party sources.
Meanwhile President Sirisena has appointed university don Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa as the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). This is the first time in the party’s history that someone who is not in the Central Committee has been directly appointed to the Secretary’s post.
Piyadasa has a long association with the Communist Party of Sri Lanka and was educated in the former Soviet Union.