SLPP group planning tie-up with SLFP faction



MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa

RW likely beneficiary

By Shamindra Ferdinando

SLPP MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that group of dissident ruling party MPs was seeking to forge an alliance with the SLFP ahead of the presidential election scheduled between September 17 and Oct 16 this year.

“Together, we have about 30 MPs,” Kurunegala District MP said, adding that of the 14 SLFPers in Parliament, the majority were with them. The former minister said that they would soon announce their stand at the presidential poll.

The former minister said so yesterday (23) when The Island asked him whether the grouping called the New Alliance comprising a group of dissident SLPPers would team up with the Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva-led SLFP faction to back Wickremesinghe. The SLFP is in the midst of still developing major turmoil with Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, making a bid to take control of the party with the backing of former President Maithripala Sirisena.

Having rejected the SLPP’s demand that a general election be held before the next presidential poll, President Wickremesinghe Wednesday told his Cabinet presidential election would be held first.

Yapa said that they were keen on a relatively long-term consensus among the MPs involved in the initiative in view of the parliamentary polls scheduled for next year.

Responding to another query, MP Yapa said that though there had been some issues, they essentially agreed on the need for consistency in the economic sphere.

MP Yapa said that the strength of the SLPP parliamentary group had been significantly reduced with several dozens of MPs distancing themselves from the party. The SLPP won 145 seats at the last general election.


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