Coalition blues lie ahead for UNP
[TamilNet, Friday, 07 December 2001, 16:27 GMT]
Governing may not be smooth for the United National Party once the euphoria over a victory that evaded the party for seven years settles and the realities of a slim majority upheld with the aid of its coalition partners begin to unravel. The UNP has 15 minority coalition partners. They are the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, (11 MPs), the Ceylon Workers' Congress (3 MPs) and the Up Country People's Front (one MP). Six SLMC members who contested under the UNP symbol have been elected to Parliament. The SLMC got thee seats in Ampara and one seat in Batticaloa. It secured a national seat as well on the total votes it scored countrywide. The UNP has already called the PLOTE leader for a "discussion", sources said.
The UNP needs at least four to five more MPs to run affairs in Parliament because it cannot always count on all 113 MPs to be in Parliament through all the sittings, analysts say.
The UNP may also be impelled to begin a dialogue even with the EPDP to get the support of its two MPs, observers said. But the UNP MP for Jaffna, Mr. T Maheswaran said that he has already got an assurance from the party leader that the UNP would have no truck with the EPDP in future.
However, the UNP leadership has a daunting task ahead, not merely in keeping the numbers right but in facing the executive powers of the President who has effective control over the armed forces and is the head of the cabinet.