Futile bid to prop up current UNP leader – Deputy Speaker

*Draft proposal for a new Constitution


by Shamindra Ferdinando

 Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody yesterday said that the UNP would have to resolve differences among various factions within the party before promoting a brand new Constitution.

Galle District MP Weerakkody said that the UNP move was nothing but a futile exercise meant to prop up the incumbent leadership.

Asked whether the SLFP would accept an invitation from the UNP to discuss the proposed proposal Weerakkody pointed out that first of all various UNP factions would have to speak with one voice. The whole project seemed to be aimed at neutralising those challenging the leadership and to dominate opposition politics rather than taking on the government, the MP asserted, adding that having experienced a series of heavy electoral defeats over the years, the UNP was struggling to make an impact on the ground. Recollecting a spate of abortive political campaigns launched by the UNP leadership over the years, Weerakkody said that the latest initiative, too, would never get off the ground.

Asked whether the government felt threatened by the UNP move, the MP said that the SLFP-led UPFA commanded a two-thirds majority in parliament whereas the UNP was struggling to keep its parliamentary group together.

The Deputy Speaker asserted that those propagating the new initiative would soon forget their manifesto. The UNP hadn’t taken into consideration the ground situation when preparing the plan, he said, adding that the document seemed to be self-contradictory as regards some critical issues, including power sharing.

The government remained committed to resolving the national issue through a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). Since the conclusion of the conflict the ruling coalition had been working according to a well thought out plan with the focus on development as well as political stability, he said.

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