Thursday, January 17, 2019 04:37:26 PM

An insufficient appetite for a Rajapaksa return

By Harim Peiris - Wed Apr 11, 1:28 am

Photo courtesy Al Jazeera

The outcome of last week’s failed no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has established a few political ground realities. Firstly, it was a massive overreach by the Joint Opposition (JO), which failed to make the parliamentary vote even a relatively close one and in no uncertain terms took the gloss off their much better performance at the local government polls. It was in fact a point made by a JVP speaker in Parliament, who attributed the lackluster JO effort, to the division of opinion between the two rival sibling camps of Basil’s and Gotabaya’s within the Rajapaksa comeback project.

The Rajapaksa camp divided

The Joint Opposition’s failed no-confidence motion demonstrated a stark reality, which is that Mahinda Rajapaksa will never again be president of Sri Lanka. The 19th Amendment has term limits and that fact will never be changed. Even if the executive presidency is abolished, clauses that bar two term former presidents from being prime minister has already been mooted. Preventing Mahinda Rajapaksa from being number one has sufficient and adequate support within the political elite to ensure that he personally cannot hold the top-most office….

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