Nov 08, Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister and leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he is willing to work with President Maithripala Sirisena again, if given a chance to prove his majority in Parliament.
In an interview with Meera Srinivasan of The Hindu, Wickremesinghe, who was abruptly sacked by the President Sirisena on October 26, said he has no problem working with the President.
When asked whether he could still work with the President, Mr. Wickremesinghe said: "I'll have no problem working with him, that's a question you must ask him. The Constitution doesn't make provision for personal prejudices," he said on Tuesday, in an interview to The Hindu at Temple Trees.
Mr. Wickremesinghe is trying to claim legitimacy as the country's premier, after Mr. Sirisena appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place and subsequently prorogued Parliament until November 16.
The bitter relationship between Mr. Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesinghe appears to have further deteriorated this week, with the President resorting to personal attacks on him at a recent public meeting.
The Hindu said, amid the persisting political crisis Mr. Wickremesinghe is optimistic about an early recall of Parliament.
"The Parliament's power is supreme and that is what the Speaker has upheld," he said, referring to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya's statement on Monday, noting that Mr. Rajapaksa will not be recognized as PM until he wins a floor test.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said he is "confident of having the numbers," adding that "The fact that they are delaying the recall is because they don't have the numbers. The delay worries me because it makes the country more unstable," he said.
Mr. Sirisena, who earlier suspended Parliament until November 16, has recalled the House for November 14.
Mr. Wickremesinghe has ruled out a court appeal on the matter, citing the Parliament's supreme judicial powers. "Even if you go to court they send will you back to parliament on this matter," he said.
On his strategy to stabilize to the country, should he prove his majority, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the cabinet might have to be reconstituted because some had left it, and joined the "new cabinet" that Mr. Sirisena has sworn in. "But the Speaker has very well said the status quo of [last] Friday stands. Unless they prove a majority that stands."
Asked what if Mr. Rajapaksa won the floor test Mr. Wickremesinghe, even before the question was completed, said: "He won't be able to prove a majority." Pressed again for a response to such a hypothetical scenario, he said: "I don't know about hypothesis, I am talking about the actual situation. He does not have the numbers."