Whoever has the majority of 225 member House will be the Prime minister

“Whoever has the majority of 225 member House will be the Prime minister…………….. I have no possibility of appointing Mr Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister again. I will stick to that principle” -President Sirisena in Interview With “Sunday Times”

Q; You have caused a serious political crisis in the country by your actions. Why did you do it?

A; The person responsible is Ranil Wickremesinghe. Not I. After the January 8, 2015 Presidential elections, both of us were sworn in. One minute after I was sworn in as President, he took his oaths as the Prime Minister. We began work as a new government. In the first week itself, he went against our manifesto.

What did he do?

He was very stubborn and was not accommodate. He even exercised my powers. That continued.

Can you give an example?

It began with the formation of a Cabinet of Ministers in January 2015. We had asked a three-member Committee of University academics to allocate ministerial subjects on a scientific basis. I don’t think he even read their report. The allocations were made in a haphazard way. It generated laughter among people. One was the setting up of a Ministry of Higher Education and Highways. Another was how state owned banks which have traditionally been with the Finance Ministry were placed in a different Ministry. He took under his purview the Central Bank which had also earlier been under the Finance Ministry. These financial institutions have never changed hands since 1947.

But you continued thereafter with those arrangements. Why now?

He not only exercised Prime Ministerial powers. He also began using the powers of the President. That began to increase.

Why did you allow him to usurp your powers?

Some may argue about that. As a gesture of gratitude in electing me to power and not to hurt him, I allowed him to carry on with the work. That was also a gesture of humanity from my side. However, he took advantage of it.

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