Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he is still the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and will continue to function in that capacity as he has a majority in the Parliament.
The leader of the United National Party (UNP) addressed the media in Colombo, a few hours after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.
“I am addressing you as the Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. I am the Prime Minister under Article 42 of the Constitution in accordance with the 19th Amendment,” he said.
“There was a motion of no confidence against me in Parliament which was defeated. A majority voted against it showing that they had confidence in me. That situation has not changed.”
“Since I have a majority I remain as the Prime Minister and I will function as the Prime Minister,” Wickremesinghe asserted.
He stated that they still have the power of the government, but he will discuss the situation with the other parties. “I have the majority. If we can defeat a no-confidence motion that means we have the majority. I showed a majority at that moment.”
Responding to a question regarding the unexpected turn of events, he said: “In politics you have to be ready for anything.”
Asked whether he trusts the backbencher MPs of the UNP, the party leader said he does.
“The national government has two parties and its future will be decided in the Parliament. Only the Parliament can do it. No one else. All these problems can be decided in the parliament,” he stressed.
He also said that the Cabinet of Ministers will remain the same. “I have not removed anyone. I still not have been notified whether some have resigned. When they do inform we will decide on that.”
“This problem needs to be resolved in the parliament,” he reiterated.