Feb 25, 2019

Presidential election: room for Maithri from SLPP’ – Welgama           

President Maithripala Sirisena would not receive the support of the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna at the upcoming presidential election, said former Minister Kumara Welgama. He made this statement at a media briefing held at Hali-Ela on February 23.

He said, “It seems that if the presidential election is held Maithripala Sirisena would contest. This is an election year. However, Maithripala Sirisena did not do anything noteworthy for the country during the past four years, but in the final year he is working.

Now the drug raids are happening and the underworld is being curtailed. It seems that Maithripala will contest the upcoming election. 

But, he will never be given the chance to contest under the SLPP because they plan on nominating a Rajapaksa. Even I will support it if Mahinda Rajapaksa contests, if not I will not support.”

“Nothing will happen before the Sinhala New Year”

Expressing his views with regard to the Constitutional amendments submitted by the JVP, Welgama said, “Although some are talking about an election, nothing will happen prior to the Sinhala New Year. Moreover, now all the leaders of the country are talking about the 20th Amendment. The JVP has brought in this amendment in order to have the Executive Presidency abolished and parliament to be given power. If that proposal is passed, then the President in the next government would only be a powerless post. 

That is why all the party leaders are viewing this proposal with interest. They know what would happen if executive powers go to the wrong hands. 

That is what happened during the past four years and that is why many are of the view that the Executive Presidency should be scrapped. In the even that happens, then there is no point in a presidential election.” 

''Won’t allow the Executive Presidency to be abolished” – Wimal Weerawansa

However, the Leader of the National Freedom Front and Joint Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa said they would not allow the Executive Presidency to be abolished based on the incapability of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. 

He made this comment during a media briefing held in Malabe last afternoon.