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“Willing to work with President Sirisena,” says Wickremesinghe

“Willing to work with President Sirisena,” says Wickremesinghe
November 09
09:07 2018

(UTV|COLOMBO) – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he is willing to work with President Maithripala Sirisena, if given a chance to prove his majority in Parliament, The Hindu reported.

On whether he could still work with the President, Wickremesinghe said “I’ll have no problem working with him, that’s a question you must ask him. The Constitution doesn’t make provision for personal prejudices,” he said in an interview to The Hindu at Temple Trees, the Official Residence of the Prime Minister.

Amid the persisting political crisis, Wickremesinghe is optimistic about an early recall of Parliament. “The Parliament’s power is supreme and that is what the Speaker has upheld,” he said, referring to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s statement noting that Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be recognised as Prime Minister until he wins a floor test. “I am confident of having the numbers,” Wickremesinghe said, adding “The fact that they are delaying the recall is because they don’t have the numbers.” President Sirisena, who earlier suspended Parliament until 16 November, has recalled the House for 14 November. “The delay worries me because it makes the country more unstable,” the ousted Prime Minister said.

Wikremesinghe, who has pegged his chances entirely to a floor test, has ruled out a Court appeal on the matter, citing the Parliament’s “Supreme judicial powers.” Reiterating the position, he said “Even if you go to Court they send will you back to Parliament on this matter. We are different from yours [Indian context].”

On his strategy to stabilise to the country, should he prove his majority, Wickremesinghe said the Cabinet might have to be reconstituted because some had left it, and joined the “New Cabinet” that President Sirisena has sworn in. “But the Speaker has very well said the status quo of [last] Friday stands. Unless they prove a majority that stands.”

Asked what if Premier Rajapaksa won the floor test Wickremesinghe, even before the question was completed, said “He won’t be able to prove a majority.” Pressed again for a response to such a hypothetical scenario, he said “I don’t know about hypothesis, I am talking about the actual situation. He does not have the numbers.”

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