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Crisis talks for Sri Lankan government after election fallout

Sri Lanka’s government is in a crisis after coalition parties failed to reach a consensus on the way forward, following a massive defeat to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa at local government elections this week.

Both Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are in dire straits after their parties suffered heavy losses at the polls. Crisis talks have taken place between the two, but no outcome has been announced thus far. Talks in Colombo earlier today led to reports that a “special committee” will be formed to submit reform proposals within the next 3 days.

Discord between the president and prime minister has grown in the aftermath of the elections, with The Hindu stating it learned from multiple sources that Mr Sirisena told Mr Wickremesinghe his Ministers were “not willing to work with him [the PM] any more”.

Several prominent members of Mr Sirisena’s SLFP have stated they will not support keeping Mr Wickremesinghe on as prime minister. “There is no way we will support this government as long as Mr. Wickremesinghe is Prime Minister,” said State Minister of Highways Dilan Perera, whilst deputy ports minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama stated that “We need a new prime minister to carry forward a new parliament”.

Mr Sirisena’s SLFP only won 10 councils in the local elections, whilst Mr Wickremesinghe’s UNP managed to secure 41.

Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLPP won in 239 councils in the island.