Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lankan president installs unstable minority government

[b]Sri Lankan president installs unstable minority government[/b]

By Nanda Wickremasinghe – World Socialist Web Site

The minority government formed by Sri Lanka’s new president, Mahinda Rajapakse, late last month is a sign of deep political instability. With only 70 seats in a 225-seat parliament, he is completely dependent on the support of the two Sinhala chauvinist parties—the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)—that backed his presidential election campaign.

Significantly, the JVP, which had been part of the previous United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, refused to join the cabinet even though it played a key role in electing Rajapakse. The party, which relies on demagogic populist appeals, rapidly lost support after joining a ruling coalition for the first time in 2004 and failing to deliver on its promises.

With the support of 39 JVP MPs and 9 of the 10 JHU MPs, the UPFA government has a parliamentary majority, even though a highly unstable one. Rajapakse's own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has only 60 parliamentarians. The remaining 10 come from UPFA coalition partners, including the Muslim-based National Unity Alliance, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) and the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP).

Share this