UNP in a dilemma over ministerial portfolios

The United National Party (UNP) is said to be facing a dilemma when it comes to preparing the list of Cabinet ministers because there are more aspirants than the number of slots available.

In the previous UNP-led national unity government, 32 of its members held Cabinet portfolios. However, the Cabinet has to be
now restricted to 30 because it is no longer a unity government. Besides, the UNP leadership has decided to appoint MPs Ravi Karunanayake and Palitha Range Bandara as Cabinet ministers. They were not in the previous Cabinet.

Four members, who were ministers in the previous Cabinet, may have to stay away this time.

Party sources said MP Malik Samarawickrama, Mano Ganeshan and Rishad Bathiudeen have on their own offered not to take up Cabinet posts this time so that MPs Karunanayake and Range Bandara could be accommodated.

The list of the names will be sent for approval by President Maithripala Sirisena today because it could not be finalised yesterday. (Kelum Bandara)