President Maithripala Sirisena, yesterday, told newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other UNP MPs at a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, that he was still of the view that Wickremesinghe should not have been appointed Prime Minister.
A media statement issued by the President Secretariat, yesterday quoted President Sirisena as having said: “When I said that I would not appoint Wickremesinghe PM even if all 225 MPs supported him that was my personal opinion. That hasn’t changed. But as someone who respects parliamentary traditions and democracy I have decided to appoint him Prime Minister. Neither Parliament nor courts, to my knowledge, can tell me who should be appointed PM.”
The President said that his decisions to appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Minster, prorogue Parliament and dissolve it had been taken after obtaining expert legal opinion,”I did so in good faith.”
The President said: “I took those decisions in the national interest and not with the intention of violating the Constitution. I believe that the best way to end the crisis is to go for an election. The 15.5 million Sri Lankan voters are more important than all the MPs in Parliament. Placing the matter before people is the best way to respect their sovereignty and I wanted to let the people decide.
“Establishing independent commissions was a positive of the 19th Amendment, but it also created a political deadlock.”