Prez agrees to form interim government with new PM, cabinet: Sirisena

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to form an interim government with a new prime minister and cabinet of ministers, former president Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday (29).

Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which recently quit the government, had a discussion with Rajapaksa on Friday about the way forward.

“The talks were successful. The president agreed to form an interim government under a new prime minister with a new cabinet.

“They will send invitations to all parties in the coming days. The new cabinet must be small, with just 15 to 20 ministers,” said Sirisena.

The president has also agreed to appoint a National Council as proposed by the SLFP, he said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

However, reports had emerged earlier that the president had, in fact, decided not to go for an interim all party government and that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa would continue in his role.

Meanwhile, main opposition the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Harsha de Silva said Thursday (28) night that his party will support an interim all-party government only if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa steps down.

President Rajapaksa was scheduled to meet party leaders Friday morning but reports said the meeting was postponed at the last minute. However, a meeting with the SLFP parliamentary group went ahead as scheduled.

Sri Lanka’s worsening economic crisis has triggered an unprecedented political crisis amid rising public anger.

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