UPFA coalition partners to form new alliance?
August 30, 2015 12:24 am
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s allies are planning to form a new opposition alliance, breaking away from President Maithripala Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition, senior leftist leaders said on Saturday.
“We are looking to form a new political front. We are having talks with different groups,” Prof. Tissa Vitharana of the Trotskyist Lanka Samasamaja Party (LSSP) said. Vitharana was a senior minister under Rajapaksa in his near decade old regime which ended in January.
“We have to form a new front, we are against this national government arrangement,” Vasudeva Nanayakkara of another left party said. With the August 17 parliamentary election results and Sirisena’s decision to form a coalition government of national unity between the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) and Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the old left have felt overlooked and ignored by Sirisena.
None of them were picked by Sirisena to fill in the national list parliamentary seat allocation which the UPFA won on August 17. These parties played a main role in the return to politics of Rajapaksa since his defeat in January.
The old left parties have been part of the UPFA since its formation in 2004 as an anti UNP political front. The coalition ruled the country between 2004 and early this year. Vitharana and Dinesh Gunawardena, the leaders of the nationalist Mahajana Eksath Permauna (MEP) have accused Sirisena of breaking the UPFA coalition.