UPFA, SLFP secretaries differ on CMC group leader’s appointment


By Lal Gunesekera

Two leading government ministers differ on the appointment of a successor to Milinda Moragoda, who quit as the Opposition (UPFA) group leader of the Colombo Municipal Council on April 25.

While Petroleum Minister and General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha was of the opinion that as a majority of the UPFA Councillors were from the SLFP, it was the SLFP that was entitled to that post, Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said it was up to the UPFA Group in the CMC to nominate the opposition leader.

Premjayantha told The Island that the CMC had made an announcement on the vacancy and he was awaiting instructions from the SLFP General Secretary to make the appointment.

Seventeen of the 23 UPFA Councillors have nominated former UNP stalwart and one time Deputy Minister M. H. Maharoof for the vacant post.

However, his nomination has created a rift in the group as the Chief Opposition Whip of the UPFA Group in the CMC M. H. Manzil, who is the senior most SLFP Councillor is also eyeing the post. He has already written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he has been a Councillor since 1997 and therefore he is the most eligible person.

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