'UPFA Still Lacks Numbers: President Shows UPFA Government 'Bogey' To Pressure UNP To Remove PM'

"The UPFA still does not have numbers to form a new government. Nevertheless the President is encouraging the idea of a UPFA government to push the UNP to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership," a top political source told Asian Mirror, explaining the current political deadlock. 

The President had a round of meetings this morning, with members from both sides. He held two separate meetings with Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka and State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. He also met senior members of the SLFP and party leaders of the Joint Opposition. 

At the meeting with Ramanayake, President  Sirisena has told the UNP Deputy minister to cause an internal revolt in the party to make Speaker Karu Jayasuriya the UNP Leader and the Prime Minister. 

"I am willing to continue with a UNP government. But, Karu Jayasuriya must be the Prime minister," the President had told Ramanayake this morning, stating very clearly that he did not want to continue with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Then, the Deputy Minister had responded saying it was not possible as the party had decided to back its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to be the Prime Minister. 

"It's up to you to make that change in the party," the President had replied. Sirisena had also told Ramanayake to come back for another meeting after changing the leadership of the UNP.

Meanwhile, when he met the Joint Opposition group, the President said he was willing to form a government with the UPFA and the Joint Opposition while giving green light for a committee between the two groups. 

The President also said he would consult the Attorney General and other legal experts on removing Wickremesinghe from the post of Prime Minister.

However, the UPFA is still short of 17 MPs to form a majority government. Apart from a few disgruntled MPs, others have not responded to the calls of the UPFA.

"It looks as if the President will stir the pot and make the UNPers impatient. That seems to be his tactic to oust his Prime Minister," the source said.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd