February 10th Aftermath

The path ahead for Sirisena and Ranil reveals no good options for them. Here are my projections.

  1. Continue with the pre-February 10th arrangement: the UPFA MPs currently on the government benches could carry on, ignoring the fact that the party they represent no longer exists. With the general election campaign starting just 1 year from now, and the certainty of their defeat, it is unlikely that the UPFA are so blind as to go on this self-destructive path. –Low Probability.
  2. Party reorganization: this entails the hard core anti-Mahinda UPFA MPs joining the UNP, along with Sirisena himself. A UNP majority government could then form, with support from the JVP and TNA. This would bring some degree of security to Sirisena and allow the apartheid-style anti-majority Ranil government to continue. –High probability.

    However, importantly, they would be deprived of a 2/3 majority and so would not be able to enact any further policies which would damage the country. The ruling UNP regime would also lose all pretense of being a national government, and all their policies would be enacted without the semblance of inclusivity on which the “good government” circus relied for legitimacy.

    The majority of the UPFA MPs would join the Joint Opposition. The UPFA would then become the Official Opposition and obtain the posts of Leader of the Opposition as well as Chief Opposition Whip. At the time of the next general election, the SLFP/UPFA would be liquidated, and the current UPFA MPs would contest under the SLPP banner.

  3. Immediate dissolution: the parliament in its present form would respect the people’s damning verdict and would voluntarily pass a Bill to dissolve itself. This would entail respecting the citizens of the country and also would stabilize the country. As this is the most dignified and honorable option, it is the least likely path the UNP/JVP/TNA/SLMC/SLFP rogues will take. –Low probability.

    Ranil has no intention of fighting yet another election campaign. He looks to be in terrible health, and recalling how exhausted he seemed at the end of the general election campaign in 2015, the thought of fighting again so soon after the disastrous local government polls must send shivers down his spine.

    Furthermore, this path represents an existential threat to Sirisena because the electorate would return an overwhelming SLPP majority to the parliament, and as the new government, the SLPP would more likely than not activate impeachment proceedings against him.

All in all these these are three very bad options. Ranil and Sirisena are standing on a volcano of popular discontent, stuck between a rock and a hard place, while a giant tsunami of opposition is crashing down from above. This is what happens when those unfit and unable to lead are wrongly elevated to the highest offices in the land.

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