Monday, 18 November 2019 06:19

Economy and constitutional reforms priority: MR

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the twin focus of the newly elected President would be to turnaround the economy and initiate constitutional and legal reforms to address issues created by the 19th Amendment.

Releasing a statement after his brother, President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory was confirmed, Mahinda Rajapaksa said he saluted all those who voted for the SLPP candidate and said it was time to stop promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism for political purposes.

“The people have voted decisively in our favour at this election because of disaffection with the conduct of this Government over the past five years. I salute the people of Sri Lanka for decisively defeating the 2015-style attempt made to once again purloin the mandate of the people through backroom deals with various chauvinistic ethnic and religious groupings organised around narrow political agendas. The time has now come to put an end to this dangerous game of promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism for political purposes,” he said in the statement.

He also argued this Presidential Election differs from all previous Presidential Elections, because of the complications in the system of governance brought about by the 19th Amendment. “After the new President takes oath, we will be studying the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and planning our immediate program of action accordingly.”

“We now have an opportunity to give a sense of direction to this country, which has been drifting rudderless for five years. As stated in our candidate’s election manifesto, it will be necessary to rebuild the economy from the bottom upwards and to introduce constitutional and legal reforms to achieve this objective.”

Rajapaksa also pledged to keep the public informed of further developments in this regard in the coming days. “In the face of the unequivocal people’s mandate delivered at this election, we believe the Government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances. Victory to the motherland and to the patriotic people of Sri Lanka.”

(FT)

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