Wickremesinghe says minority government danger to peace process

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 April 2004, 10:57 GMT]
The outgoing Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told a news conference in Colombo that the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) appears to be trying to form a minority government and such a minority government will be a danger to the continuity of the peace process with the LTTE.

"If no party has the absolute majority, taking control of the peace process and making it move forward will be difficult," he said.

He said that the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) were remaining with the UNF and he was having further talks with the two leaders, Arumugam Thondaman and Rauf Hakeem respectively.

Earlier there was speculation that the CWC and SLMC will be called into support the new UPFA government.

He said that in parliament he will be in consultation with other parties and they will decide on 'issue by issue'.

But, he emphasised that it would difficult for a minority government even to prepare the agenda in Parliament, apart from carrying on with the peace process which he stabilised when the Parliament was suddenly dissolved by Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

The Prime Minister said he did not believe that the southern voters had rejected the peace process totally, by voting the UPFA, but said that there were other issues connected to the defeat of his party.

He said that his plan was to stabilise the peace process and for the first two years that was his intended main task.

The Prime Minister said that his position was that the peace process should be continued from where it was suspended with the Tokyo declaration.

"The new government has to show that they can continue the peace process," he said.

The Prime Minister recalled that in 1960 a minoritygovernment was formed, but did not survive even for few months.

 

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