PA to form govt. when 113 MPs agree

by Himangi Jayasundere

The People's Alliance (PA) yesterday said that they would form a government as soon as they obtained the support of 113 members of parliament but declined to divulge how they would do it.

Media spokesman for the PA, Sarath Amunugama said that the PA’s immediate target was to form a government but he maintained that it would be within "constitutional and democratic means".

He however refused to reveal how they would achieve their target saying that they were "not in a position to divulge it".

However, "The moment we get 113 votes in parliament we will come to power," he claimed speaking at a press conference.

"We have to take over the reigns of government", he added

Asked about the present confusion in the political arena, "There is no confusion at least in our minds," he said, adding "we have ruled out elections but not because we can’t face them".

Asked if they were encouraging UNP MP’s to join them , "We are not encouraging, they are offering," PA (MP) Mangala Samaraweera said.

On persistent questioning on what they proposed to do Dr. Amunugama said that they would "somehow" obtain 113 votes.

"Those are tactics and strategies, some of them are done publicly some of them privately. We love you but we can’t tell you everything," he said.

Nevertheless he hinted that the process planned by them could create a situation where "more than this government, the Prime Minister will not be able to go forward". Mr. Samaraweera added that it may even result in a wide consensus while remaining within their own party.

Dr. Amunugama claimed that although the government has said that it has prepared 35 new acts, in reality there were only five. He alleged that this was a lie that has been said in the fear that the President would prorogue parliament. He reiterated that the Prime Minister has no constitutional power to dissolve parliament, pointing out that it was a fact which was "crystal clear". He said that the UNF’s demands have now come down to a "teeny weenie demand", that of asking the President to remove her powers to dissolve parliament after one year.

However Dr. Amunugama claimed that they had not been "officially informed" of the UNF’s decision to hold elections if the President does not agree to the removal of her power to dissolve parliament.

Commenting on the conscience bill, Dr. Amunugama said that the bill was as "dead as a door nail". He said that there was now no "earthly chance" of having the bill passed in parliament as minority parties are unlikely to agree. "SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem has clearly stated that they would not support it," he said adding that the other parties were also unlikely to support it.

Commenting on the meeting between LTTE chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham with Norwegian facilitators, he said that " we are for the peace process, we have asked the government to expedite the process and include substantial issues for a political solution".