As he tries to consolidate power inside Parliament new President Maithripala Sirisena has attracted several undesirables from the previous regime, including the notorious Sajin Vaas Gunewardena and Karuna Amman.
Several UPFA members including SLFP Vice President Karuna Amman, Vijithamuni Soysa, Jagath Pushpakumara and Dayasari Jayasekera extended support to President Sirisena last evening.
The entry of Karuna into the Sirisena fold is raising major concerns after the opposition campaigned strongly on a platform to hold both KP and Karuna to account.
Wide sections of the UNP are unhappy about the movements but it is learnt that the party leader is explaining that the process is about building a majority in Parliament. Fears are rampant that defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa may return to Parliament on January 19 and wrest control of the UPFA majority in the House and the new administration is key to secure support ahead of that date.
However, the Government is also being warned that the flood of undesirables sent to President Sirisena’s doorstep are arriving at the behest of President Rajapaksa who is engaged in an attempt to discredit the new administration.
Rajapaksa is making a desperate bid to return to Parliament by getting one of his national list nominees to resign. He will then attempt to build a majority and wrest the Premiership.
However legal sources say the appointment of the Prime Minister is entirely the discretion of the President according to Chapter VIII article 43 of the constitution. Furthermore the Prime Minister is an executive appointment and Parliament has no role in the appointment or removal of the Prime Minister.
Speculation was rife that the UPFA would attempt to submit an appeal to the Speaker of Parliament to express the lack of confidence in the majority of members of the House in Ranil Wickremesinghe. If President Sirisena fails to act, the UPFA plan was to submit a no confidence motion against the minority Government.
But the situation is a stalemate because Sirisena has the option of dissolving Parliament to thwart a no confidence.
Insiders claim that the flood of UPFA members pledging to support President Sirisena could derail the Rajapaksa plan to force a dissolution and scuttle the 100 day plan.