SLFP divided on UNP-led Government as several prepare to join

A split has emerged in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) after a proposal was made to form a UNP-led United National Front (UNF) Government following the humiliating defeat suffered by the SLFP at the Local Government (LG) elections.

While seven SLFP Ministers have so far agreed to join the UNF under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, several others have refused to do so, sources said.

Some key SLFP Ministers have said they will sit independently in Parliament and not join a UNF cabinet.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has reportedly said it will support a UNF Government but will not accept any Ministerial portfolios.

The proposal to form a UNF cabinet arose after the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna secured a resounding victory at the just concluded Local Government (LG) elections.

The UNF and the SLFP formed a unity Government in 2015 after defeating former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2015 January 8 Presidential elections.

However both the UNF and the SLFP have failed to agree on several issues in the recent past and they contested the LG elections separately.

At the elections the UNP came second behind the SLPP while the UPFA and the SLFP were third and fourth respectively.

The SLFP and UPFA contested separately in some areas at the elections. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Ashanthi Warunasuriya