“I Hope To Be Executive Prime Minister” – Ranil
- After The Next General Election
- In An Executive Cabinet
By Frederica Jansz
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said he hopes to function as Executive Prime Minister, after the next general election is held. Answering questions as to what exactly his role would be or how he stood to gain in the event of General Sarath Fonseka winning the January 26 presidential election, Wickremesinghe responded saying, “I have functioned before as Executive Prime Minister in an Executive Cabinet and I hope to do so again.”
This, he said, would of course be subject to the General winning the forthcoming presidential election.
Wickremesinghe added there were three main issues on which he stood to gain if the General were to be elected as the next president of Sri Lanka. “The first would be to establish democracy. Second, to install a parliamentary system of government, which will have a majority of UNP MPs. Third, I hope to function as Executive Prime Minister.”
Quizzed on why the United National Party for the first time in its entire history has fielded a presidential candidate outside the party, Wickremesinghe responded, “We have not fielded someone outside the UNP. We are merely supporting General Sarath Fonseka, in order to abolish the Executive Presidency, as the JVP are doing, despite a whole lot of ideological differences with the UNP. We are all committed to the same cause. To restore democracy in this country.”
Wickremesinghe asserted that he is confident General Fonseka will garner considerable votes from the Tamil and Muslim minority parties too. “We have agreed on a ten point plan for the future of Sri Lanka – a country with a vision which would include the resettlement of IDPs, dealing with all those homeless since 1983 and all those under detention without charge.”
Asked if the General would not require the office of Executive President to eradicate corruption – which has been Fonseka’s battle cry since he began running for president – Wickremesinghe said, “We have agreed even after the Executive Presidency is abolished the General should head a council that will monitor the anti corruption drive.” This Council, Wickremesinghe asserted, should be non partisan and representative of all members in society including the opposition and civil society.
Responding specifically to the question on what role exactly the General would play if the Presidency is abolished Wickremesinghe said, “He will head this council.”