The parliamentary group of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has decided to nominate former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the position of Opposition Leader.
The decision was reached during the UPFA parliamentary group meeting held today (18) which was chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena.
MP Piyankara Jayaratne, speaking to reports after the meeting, said that the former President’s name was proposed and approved unanimously during the meeting.
He said that the positions of Opposition Leader and Chief Opposition Whip will have to be given to the UPFA as per parliamentary tradition and that they expect that to happen.
UPFA MP Arundika Fernando, who also spoke to the media, said there is nothing to ask about because Rajapaksa must get the Opposition Leader post and that there is no doubt about it. “We will see if we don’t get it.”
The UPFA has said it will not be joining the UNP-led government and would sit in the opposition. That would make the UPFA the largest opposition party in the Parliament, meaning the Opposition Leader post held by the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, would have to be transferred to the UPFA.