General Election: Government cannot get two-thirds majority – Welgama

Kumara Welgama

Former Kalutara District UPFA MP Kumara Welgama says that while the Coronavirus disease spreads, the only thing on the government’s mind was how to obtain a two-thirds majority at the next General Election, but that would remain a dream.

He said last week that the Podujana Peramuna led government having locked the stable door after the horse had bolted, was trying hard to create an impression that the Coronavirus disease had been brought under control, but the truth was that the number of infected persons was increasing by the day.

Strict preventive measures should have been introduced in February, but President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was then of the view that the country need not be locked down, just because 28 persons had contracted the virus, Welgama noted, pointing out that the numbers were increasing rapidly.

According to official statistics the number of persons infected with the Coronavirus had increased to 835, with nine deaths being recorded.The number of active cases has been placed at 586.

Welgama said that polls could be held once a suitable environment had been created, but the Podujana  Peramuna was thinking only about elections and a two-thirds majority, which it obviously cannot get, since its vote base had eroded since last November’s Presidential Election.

Referring to the government’s refusal to summon Parliament, which was dissolved on March 2,  so that approval for spending public funds after the 30th of last month could be obtained, he noted that many more petitions would be filed in the Supreme Court, to ensure that the Constitution was not flouted.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his administration had  disregarded the Constitution and continued to access the state coffers even after April 30, without approval from the national legislature, which was a prerequisite, since the General Election had been postponed from April 25 to June 20, Welgama said, expressing  confidence that the Apex Court would interpret the Constitution correctly, just as it did when it removed the illegal 52-day Mahinda Rajapaksa government in December 2018 and restore the supremacy of Parliament  again.

He observed  that Tuesday’s  meeting between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and some Ex-MPs, which was boycotted by several parties including the UNP and SJB, was a waste of time, since it did not have the requisite authority nor was it a substitute for decisions taken by an elected Parliament.

Recalling that he had worked with Mahinda Rajapaksa and knew him inside out, Welgama said ” Mahinda never listened to us. He does what he wants to. He did not listen to me when I told him not to accept the position of Prime Minister in the October-December 2018 coup administration, since we did not have a parliamentary majority. But, in his greed for power, he was blind to reality. Finally the Supreme Court had to show him the door.”

He pointed out  that even the World Health Organisation was of the opinion that parliamentarians had the ability to bring all parties together to defeat the Coronavirus disease at a community level, but in Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksas were stubbornly refusing to summon the national legislature, even after several opposition political parties including the UNP and SJB having given an undertaking in writing to the people and the government, of its unconditional support without any political bias  to overcome the unprecedented health crisis faced by the country.

(Source: The Island – By Zacki Jabbar)