The continuing political crisis in Sri Lanka has resulted in a great numbers game being played now. The aim of the game is to gain majority support among members of Parliament. Both Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as the purported Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was appointed amidst controversial circumstances by President Maithripala Sirisena need to command the confidence of the House when the currently prorogued Parliament is re-convened.The immediate objective of both the Maithripala -Mahinda camp as well as the Ranil Wickremesinghe camp is to win the numbers game.Both sides need the minimum magic number of 113 to gain a majority of at least one in a legislature of 225.
The new Sirisena-Rajapaksa “ De -Facto” Govt has at the moment 17 ministers including Sirisena, 8 state ministers and 8 deputy ministers. Almost all the ministers are from the SLFP factions, UNP renegades and other parties like the EPDP and CWC.
The core group of Joint opposition MP’s are not taking any posts so that those crossing over from other parties could be accommodated. Intensive campaigning is going on by both sides. Mahinda’s side is enticing as many MP’s as possible from other parties. Rani’s side is trying hard to restrain its members from crossing over. It is also trying to woo a few MP’s from the other side but with little success so far.