The ruling coalition yesterday said that it could secure a two-thirds majority even under the existing Proportional Representation system at the next parliamentary elections.
SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that as the government had received a two-thirds majority at elections to Wayamba and Uva Provincial Councils, it could expect a repeat performance at the forthcoming parliamentary polls.
He said that their overwhelming victory at Uva over the UNP, now struggling to retain its dwindling vote bank would have far reaching implications on national politics.
Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, too, expressed confidence that the SLFP-led alliance could take a two-thirds majority at the next general elections.
Asked whether the government would now go for general elections first as scheduled though speculation was rife of President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for presidential election later this year, Silva said that the government could win any election without any difficulty.
UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha said that the President was of the opinion that the government was ready to face any election.
Commenting on their landslide victory at Uva, Silva ridiculed efforts made by Western Provincial Councillor Rosy Senanayake, MP Dayasiri Jayasekera and Ranjan Ramanayake, Opposition Leader of the Sabaragamuwa PC to inspire party supporters. He said that women with pretty faces and muscled men could not win elections. Their poor showing at Uva was evidence that people couldn’t be deceived by the likes of Rosy Senanayake and Ranjan Ramanayake. The minister said that their efforts to exploit deaths caused by dengue had failed to make any impact in Uva.
Fielding questions raised by The Island, Silva said that it wouldn’t be right to compare the likes of Rosy and Ranjan campaigning at Uva with actress Anarkali Akarsha contesting the forthcoming elections to the Southern Provincial Council on the government ticket. Premjayantha said that the SLFP had finalised all its interviews to select candidates and among the applicants who appeared before an SLFP nominations board recently was the actress. SLFP Treasurer Minister Dallas Alahapperuma called for a similar media interest in their other candidates.
Alahapperuma said that rapid decline in the UNP’s strength and ultimate collapse of the once formidable party would be a threat to democracy. He said that this could cause a crisis in the country though it would be to the advantage of the ruling party. The Transport Minister claimed that SLFP dissident Mangala Samaraweera would hasten the destruction of the main opposition party. He asserted that though the UNP leadership may not know, Samaraweera could be the primary reason for a rapidly collapsing UNP. Claiming that many southern provincial and local government politicians of the UNP had switched their allegiance to the government, he said that the opposition would suffer a defeat even worse than Uva. He said once they had secured Uva, they could discuss the next step.