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Amaraweera issues a veiled threat to MR over SLFP membership

By Imesh Ranasinghe

Mahinda Amaraweera / facebook.com

The General Secretary of United People’s Freedom Alliance Mahinda Amaraweera is saying that the only thing preventing Mahinda Rajapaksa from being sacked from the SLFP is the current negotiations to form an alliance with the Podujana Peramuna.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo today 15 Aug, Amaraweera said that according to the constitution of the SLFP the former president should be sacked because he has accepted the leadership of another party.

On Sunday Rajapaksa, the current Leader of the Opposition accepted the leadership of the SLPP which he hopes to lead in future Provincial, Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Losing membership of the SLFP would mean that Rajapaksa loses his Parliamentary seat and position as Leader of the Opposition.

“However as discussions are still on-going between the SLFP and the SLPP we would not like to cause any problems for him,” he added. Amaraweera said that the final decision about it will be taken by the executive committee of the party. 

Expelling a Member if Parliament through this process can take at least four months to conclude. The political party concerned will have to at first conduct an inquiry and then issue the dismissal.

Thereafter the MP has the right to appeal to the Supreme Court within a month and the Apex Court has another two months to rule on the matter.

In the matter of negotiations, the SLFP is definitely the junior partner as in the last Local Government elections the older party was trounced into third place by the SLPP which won that round handily.

Many SLFP cadres, as well as MPs, have shown a preference to move with Rajapaksa who remains their talisman.

The negotiations have also not gone well. The SLFP General Secretary has lashed out at the SLPP for the manner the upstart group invited it’s older partners for Sunday’s Convention and accused Rajapaksa of trying to divide and destroy his party.

Further, Amaraweera said that whichever the side the party decides to join in the upcoming presidential election they ensure that the identity of the party would be safeguarded and cooperation would depend on a national plan.

Amaraweera also said that they will not allow the SLFP to disappear inside another party in joining an alliance but will come into action with a plan which will strengthen the party and the economy.