“In addition to offers,” he said, “the government has intensified its spy-missions and surveillance operations: even their telephones have been tapped,” the Parliamentarian told ‘Asian Mirror’ this morning. He made these remarks when asked whether the ‘crossover’ plans of the government MPs had backfired on the United National Party and the common opposition.
“It is a ‘public’ secret that the majority of Cabinet ministers of the government are utterly disappointed with the present state of affairs in the country. But, they are still not in a position to challenge the powers that be. When the time comes they will make the right move,” the Parliamentarian added.
“Threats, offers and special privileges are short-lived. One cannot retain the support of MPs and party members by threatening and bribing them. They may pretend to support you; but their a;;allegiances lie elsewhere,” he asserted.
“The government’s primary focus at the moment”, he said, “is on preventing crossovers and not on the election campaign of the President. That alones gives an edge to the campaign of the common candidate.”
“It is clear that there is a considerable erosion in the grassroots vote-base of the SLFP. at least 20 percent of the SLFP votes still lie with the Bandaranaikes. At the same time, they consider Maithripala Sirisena as a member of the SLFP old guard – which was treated shabbily under the present regime. Therefore, they will fully support the common candidate of the opposition,” he added.
According to the UNP Parliamentarian’s calculation President Rajapaksa has to secure at least 60 percent of the Sinhala-Buddhist votes in the South.
“That is an impossible task under present circumstances. Even in 2010, under very favourable conditions, he managed to secure only 58 percent,” the Parliamentarian explained.