UNP in crisis over cabinet portfolios

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UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila today urges the President not to take oath from more than 28 ministers since it is a gross violation of not only the constitution but also election pledges.

He stated that in terms of Article 46 (1) of the Constitution, the maximum number of ministers including the president and the prime minister is thirty.

“In other words, president can appoint 28 more ministers,” he said speaking at a press conference in Colombo.  He said that by appointing 27 ministers for the previous cabinet, they had set an example for others to follow and that it was further reduced to 26 ministers after the departure of Wasantha Senanayake.

The leader of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) further alleged that the UNP is now in crisis as several seniors were promised with cabinet portfolios to avoid their crossovers. He claims that several State and Deputy ministers expect cabinet portfolios considering their contribution during the crisis.

Gammapila also said that in order to show the country that this is not a TNA dependent government, the UNP is in need of offering several portfolios to the UPFA parliamentarians.

He said that in this backdrop, there is a rumor that the UNP is in an attempt to form a national government with the solitary member of the SLMC, namely, Ali Zaheer Maulana.

In terms of Article 46(5), the political party with the highest number of parliamentarians should join with other political parties to form a national government, he said. “It is not a party but parties. Hence, there must be at least three parties to form a national government. Just the UNP and the SLMC cannot do that.”

The MP said that there is no point of petitioning to the courts since the Supreme Court refused to intervene when the previous national government was challenged.

“Hence, we urge the President not to take oath from more than 28 ministers since it is a gross violation of not only the constitution but also election pledges,” Gammanpil said.