As a surprise move just hours ahead of the possible announcement of the presidential election, Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has been offered the position of Prime Minister, a highly placed government source told Asian Mirror, under the strict conditions of anonymity.
However, the minister, who is one of the most senior-most members of the cabinet, has still not responded to the offer positively. The offer has been made by one of the top-most echelons of the gobernment, this evening.
The position has been offered amidst rumours that Minister Sirisena is preparing for a crossover, probably to be the common candidate of the opposition. However, no official party has confirmed such a move.
There were multiple requests from various sections of the ruling party to appoint Maithripala Sirisena as the Prime Minister before the next presidential election – as a radical move to strengthen the party.
They were of the view that D.M. Jayarathne, the present Prime Minister, was well over the age of retirement.
Sirisena attended the funeral of senior journalist Karunadasa Sooriyarachchi, representing the government, and read a message from President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
After the event, several reported who were present there asked the Minister whether he was a contemplating a crossover to become the common candidate of the opposition. The Minister responded to their questions with a bout of giggles and said, ‘yes, there are rumours’