I will rule until 2020 – president Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena says he will have to abide by the mandate given him by the public to govern the country until 2020.

He was responding to a question raised at a meeting with heads of media institutions this morning (30) to brief them about the 66th anniversary of the SLFP.

Noting claims by MPs by the UNP (which has 106 MPs) and the
SLFP (which has 96 MPs) that they would form their own government, the president said neither could command the 113 MPs required to form a government under the existing parliament, and that only consensual or coalition governments could be formed.

He said he believed the present administration would continue until 2020, and that a decision would be taken in December whether to continue with the related agreement signed in August 2015.

Both done at UNPs’ request

The president revealed that Wijedasa Rajapakshe was removed from his justice and Buddha Sasana portfolio at the request of the UNP that determined that he had violated the collective responsibility of the cabinet.

The gazetting of the two lotteries board under the previous foreign affairs minister too, was done at the UNP’s request and as per the powers vested in him under the 19th amendment, said president Sirisena.

Regrets delay in audit act

He expressed regret about the eight month delay in the presentation of the audit act in parliament, which he promised when he addressed the House in December 2015, to be in place by last January.

Activities of the audit commission are affected due to the act still not being adopted, he added.