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Jan 11, 2017

Civil society groups likely to oppose Maithri! Featured

The People’s Movement for a Just Society has expressed its strong reservations to a decision taken by the SLFP to continue with the executive presidency in violation of the election promise given by its leader, President Maithripala Sirisena.

Convener of the Movement Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya has noted to BBC Sandeshaya that they had, under the then leadership of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, supported Sirisena’s candidature on condition that he abolished the executive presidency.

SLFP minister Sarath Amunugama has said the party’s central committee has decided that executive presidency should continue and that President Sirisena should seek a second term at the 2020 election.

Prof. Wijesuriya commented in response that president Sirisena’s failure to fulfill the promise would seal his political future.

He accused the SLFP of trying to implement its own agenda by claiming the right to the apolitical candidate elected to office by the law-abiding citizens.

Meanwhile, SLFP minister S.B. Dissanayake said yesterday the president had not mandate to go for a referendum on a new constitution.

He said his party would disagree if there would be any amendments other than those reducing powers of the executive.

Dissanayake said the SLFP’s presidential candidate would be president Sirisena.

However, ex-president Chandrika Kumaratunga says the SLFP has taken no decision to name the incumbent as the party’s presidential candidate in 2020.

At a media briefing in Colombo, she answered a question raised and said that only ministers of the party had expressed their ideas about the next presidential polls.

Kumaratunga said as a senior leader of the party that president Sirisena has promised to abolish executive presidency after his term ended.

President Sirisena is yet to make a comment.

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