24 July, 2021

Splinter Mandate

Charges of a rigged poll, an unstable Parliament: Sri Lanka's woes continue

Splinter Mandate

It took 48 hours of political machinations and manoeuvrings before the People's Alliance (PA) of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga could form a coalition government with the National Unity Movement (NUA), a minority Muslim party, and the Tamil Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP). This will give the PA a working majority of 115 seats in the 225-seat Parliament. Ratnasiri Wickramanayake was sworn in as the prime minister.

The NUA had earlier imposed the condition that the PA should take action against those responsible for the violence and rigging during the election. Under the agreement hammered out between the two, the NUA gets two cabinet portfolios and three deputy minister's posts in the Wickramanayake ministry. But the formation of the new government is unlikely to resolve the problems Sri Lanka has been facing. For one, the government is unlikely to be stable. Says Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, "This is the first time there has been a hung parliament in the country since '60. I don't think this government will last its...

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