Fireworks Ahead: President Prepares For Drastic Move: UNP Threatens It Will Be Sirisena's Swan Song

As the Local Government election race has entered its last stage, speculation is rife that President Maithripala Sirisena is to make a drastic political move this week to tilt the playing field in favour of the UPFA election campaign. 

informed political sources said President Maithripala Sirisena was likely to take over two ministries held by the UNP, later this week. 

However, it is clear that such a move will push the UNP into an all out war with the President. The UNP has already threatened to impeach the President if the latter does not honour the interests of the UNP - the party holding the most number of seats in Parliament. 

"Such a move will be the beginning of the President's end," a prominent UNP MP told Asian Mirror, explaining the party's point of view. 

"Firstly, it will embolden the UNP supporters as it will create a wave of sympathy in favour of the Prime Minister and the UNP. Therefore, even the dormant UNP supporters will make it a point to go to the polling stations and vote for the party, in the face of such a move," he explained, adding that it would be a blessing in disguise for the UNP at the eleventh hour. 

He said this wave of sympathy and support would further deteriorate the UPFA's 'numbers' at the Local Government election. "That will cause further erosion in the Sirisena group within the SLFP camp."

"Secondly, it will push the UNP to launch an all out war against the President with the support of all political parties. We are not afraid to join hands with the joint Opposition under such circumstances." 

"If that happens," he said, "the UNP will make sure that the President is impeached." The President, according to the MP, has the direct support of only 45 MPs in the House. 

"They too are in two minds. At a critical juncture, a sizable proportion of them will align with the Rajapaksa group." 

Be that as it may, a successful impeachment against President Sirisena will pave the way for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to officially become the Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - a major boon to his comeback bid in 2020. 

The SLFP's constitution clearly states that if an SLFP member becomes the President of the country, the party leadership too should be vested in him. It was due to this provision that President Sirisena became the Chairman of the SLFP soon after he was elected as the President of the country. 

Therefore, if President Sirisena falls out of power due to an impeachment, it will give an opening for his arch rival, former President Rajapaksa, to work his way into the helm of the SLFP. 

In that context, it can be safely assumed that the Joint Opposition will throw its full weight behind an impeachment attempt against President Sirisena. 

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd