Opposition parties inkpact; JHU, JVP absent


By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena yesterday at the Open Air Theatre of the Viharamahadevi Park signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several political parties, promising to form an all- party government for a period of two years and to abolish the executive presidency within 100 days.

The MoU also contains promises to repeal the 18th amendment to the Constitution, abolish the preferential voting system and reduce the cost of living through salary increases in the public and private sectors.

The MoU is also aimed at putting an immediate end to large-scale fraud, bribery, corruption and waste of public funds besides restoring the rule of law, democracy, safeguarding the fundamental rights, media freedom and the right to information within the first 100 days.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Opposition and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Democratic Party (DP) Leader Sarath Fonseka, and MP Arjuna Ranatunga, former Minister Rajitha Senaratne and former Deputy Minister M. K. D. S. Gunawardena were among the signatories.

Opposition party leaders and leaders of civil society groups under the patronage of Ven. Maduluwawe

Sobhitha Thera signed the MoU expressing their support to work together with the common candidate. Ven. Sobhitha Thera made an open invitation to all other political parties to join the Common Opposition.

Despite the recent pledge by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa, members of JVP and JHU were notable absentees at the event.

Addressing the gathering after the signing of MoU, UNP leader Wickremesinghe said that more political parties and civil organizations would sign the agreement later.

Common Candidate Sirisena made a public pledge that he would fulfil the content of the agreement soon after his election as president, he said.

Former President Kumaratunga, too, said that many more leading politicians would join the common opposition in the near future.

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