COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa today said President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should part ways after some members of the ruling alliance joined the opposition to defeat a report on the delimitation of electorates in provincial councils.
The Delimitation Commission Report on Provincial Councils was defeated in Parliament last week after some members of Sirisena's Freedom Party joined Rajapaksa's joint opposition.
Sirisena's Freedom Party and Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) are in the unity government.
The UNP, SLFP-Maithri Faction, Joint Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voted against the report rejecting the holding of provincial council elections under the mixed electoral system.
"Either the president must leave the government or the prime minister must leave the government.
I think it is the prime minister's responsibility because he was the one who engineered the defeat of the report presented by the president," Rajapaksa said.
The passage of the report was required to hold the already postponed elections for the provinces.
The government move was seen as its wish to further delay the elections.
Rajapaksa said his party wants early elections.
"We can win it under the old or the new system," he said.
The government claimed that a new system introduced in February this year was found to be flawed.
Rajapaksa's opposition alleged that the government feared facing the election as it will lose it.
In another development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the younger brother of the former president has been summoned by the special corruption high court which came into operation last week.
The new court was set up to expeditiously handle the corruption cases of the 10-year Rajapaksa regime.
The cases instituted under normal court system have been found to be laborious with a severe backlog of cases.
Several members of the Rajapaksa family were arrested and freed on bail pending cases.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the then powerful defence ministry top official under his brother's regime had obtained a Supreme Court order to prevent his arrest over alleged misappropriation of over 90 million rupees of state funds to build a memorial for his parents.