Foreign Affairs

Who Will Be Our Next President?

By Hilmy Ahamed &#8211

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Hilmy Ahamed

With the announcement that parliament would be dissolved efficient midnight, June 26th 2015, the political debate will move on to the subsequent stage of building coalitions. The rebel group from the UPFA who have stood by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa might finish up as political orphans, unless Mahinda Rajapaksa comes forward to give leadership to their election campaign. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Celebration (UNP) which probably will go it alone and is probably to emerge as the larger winner at the next general election, may not succeed in receiving the magic 113 quantity as a single celebration. So, they have to appear for wheeler-dealers to type the next government. Will it be the minority parties or will it be Sirisena’s lot from the SLFP/UPFA? Sri Lanka demands a steady government and we pray that President Sirisena would be capable to steer the next elected parliamentarians to perform with each other with the national government idea.

The passage of the watered down 19A is a landmark achievement, but it falls quick of the many promises made by the common opposition in the run up to the January 2015 elections. The dilution of it is seen as a strategic move by vested interests to climb to the presidential seat after Maithripala Sirisena relinquishes office after his very first term. Would president Sirisena quit right after his initial term or would he want the second term? He has renegaded on several of his election promises, and this might not be an exception.

Champika RanawakaThe much talked about 20th Amendment will be place in to cold storage with parliament getting dissolved without its passage. The minority parties strongly think that Champika Ranawaka and some groups of Buddhist extremists are behind the attempt to deprive the minor and minority parties, the political influence they have had with successive governments. They believe that with the achievable exit of Maithripala Sirisena following his very first presidential term, Champika Ranawaka could stake a claim to the throne as the UPFA presidential candidate, and if minorities have no major say, it would be less difficult to convince the majority neighborhood that they need to have a nationalistic leader. His desperate ambition to lead the nation is no secret and the truth that Champika and his lot opposed the total abolition of the executive presidential system gives credibility to this theory. Is President Maithripala aware of this attainable conspiracy or has he grow to be a victim of his personal self-self-assurance.

Sri Lanka has just emerged from an ultra nationalist period of governance with the regime adjust in January 2015. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s downfall was the rejection of him by the anti racist majority of Sri Lankans. With that knowledge, will Champika adhere to in the footsteps of Mahinda Rajapaksa and try one more ultra nationalist government? Would the majority Buddhists reject the racist policies espoused by extremists once more?

The minorities’ major grievance was their fear that the 20th Amendment would decrease their numbers in parliament and eliminate them from the decision creating procedure of government. Hakeem’s comment in parliament that his neighborhood is in a worse circumstance than for the duration of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure is certainly laughable. He has forgotten the hate, intimidation and threats his community faced from Buddhist extremists beneath the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, with the Bodu Bala Sena and other extremist groups allowed to cause violence against minorities with impunity. In the last 3 years, the Secretariat For Muslims (SFM) has recorded more than 540 incidents against the Muslims. The evangelical Christian neighborhood too has recorded a related number against them.

More than 6.two Million voted for President Maithripala Sirisena against the 5.eight million for Mahinda Rajapaksa. ZL Mohamed in his detailed analysis (Colombo Telegraph-June 6th 2015) of voter registrations show that there have been 15,044,490 voters registered on the electoral rolls but the quantity of citizens who were of legal voting age was only 14,449,000 as per the official Census data. That would be at least 600,000 ghost voters, who would have been registered most likely illegally to change the election outcomes in favour of the then incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa. ZL Mohamed’s assumption is possibly based on the belief that there were massive numbers of ghost voters registered prior to the last presidential elections in connivance with the Grama Niladari’s, who not only helped to consist of them in the voters registry, but also helped in issuing fake identity cards. If this allegation is correct, it is important that an immediate investigation is undertaken and all such ghost votes cancelled prior to the subsequent elections and criminal proceeding ought to be brought on all who conspired.. Failure would imply that these ghost votes could tip the balance of 15 to 30 parliamentary seats in the next elections, as per Mohamed’s analysis.

With the existing flux in the governance mechanism, the Presidents resolve to dissolve parliament and hold a basic election is almost certainly the most suitable selection created by President Maithripala because his election.

The achievable entry of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Prime Ministerial stakes would bring in a lot flavor to the election procedure. It would be fascinating to see if Mahinda Rajapaksa will walk the talk or abandon his followers. Both Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Sirisena cannot be observed as dividing the SLFP, thereby diminishing the chances of the SLFP’s victory. On the other hand, President Sirisena cannot forget the sacrifices made by the UNP in forwarding him as the frequent presidential candidate. Hence, he has a moral obligation to honour his commitments to the UNP.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa clan in parliament was aware that parliament would be dissolved. They played every delaying tactic feasible to postpone the next general elections, as delays would be a distinct benefit to them. Several wanted to pull the rug beneath President Sirisena’s feet, but he appears to maneuver effectively along slipper floors.

The best selection now would be to campaign for a national government led by the UNP where a new constitution would be formulated that involves the abolition of the Executive Presidency, preferential voting and accommodate fair representation of all communities and ensure that rule of law prevails. This will augur well for the nation. A steady government could take Sri Lanka to unprecedented heights.

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