UNP threatens to withdraw presidential retirement benefits if Mahinda re-enters parliament



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC has warned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the latter would be deprived of privileges he is currently enjoying as an ex-President in case of being elected an MP.


Minister Rajapakshe said that Mahinda Rajapaksa had the prerogative to decide whether he wanted to resume a parliamentary career afresh at the expense of perks and privileges available to him.


The President’s Counsel was addressing a gathering at Cotta road, Rajagiriya on Wednesday at the opening of a new campaign office.


The UNPer said the next government would introduce required Amendment to the Constitution to that effect.


The UNP is spearheading a common front named United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) at the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls. The former President is leading the UPFA team in the Kurunegala District.


The President’s Counsel said that a special Bill would be moved in parliament regarding the appointment of a President as well as post-retirement facilities. The Justice Minister accused the former SLFP leader of trying to reverse the January 8 revolution for his personal benefit and that of his henchmen. The UNPer said that the next government wouldn’t hesitate to remove Rajapaksa’s presidential perks.


Minister Rajapakshe stressed the need to elect a parliament which could facilitate post-war national reconciliation process.


Meanwhile, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday told the media that the Elections Secretariat couldn’t interfere with facilities, including security enjoyed by the former President. Deshapriya was responding to a query as regards Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam complaining to Election Secretariat about a range of facilities enjoyed by the former leader.


Kariyawasam is contesting the next months’ parliamentary polls from the Kurunegala district.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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