The President has decided to appoint former parliamentarian and minister, A.M.B. Semasinghe as the Chief Minister of the North Central Province due to the current controversy over the post, sources from Temple Trees said.
Former MP Semasinghe is the son of senior SLFP leader, K.B. Ratnayake.
A controversy erupted in the UPFA when Minister S.M. Chandrasena’s brother, S.M. Ranjith beat former Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake in preferential votes.
S.M. Ranjith polled 105,232 votes while Dissanayake received 95,027 votes and Semasinghe 30,912. However, several SLFP seniors have requested the President to re-appoint Dissanayake as the Chief Minister. Nevertheless, SLFP Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Treasurer, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma have asked the President to appoint S.M. Ranjith to the post.
The Presidential advisors have asked the President to appoint Semasinghe as the North Central province Chief Minister to avoid the controversy. They have proposed Semasinghe’s name as the only alternative since Dissanayake has been accused of being a corrupt politician in the province while S.M. Ranjith is known as an uneducated person.
Meanwhile, Dissanayake has sent a message to the President saying he would immediately resign from the provincial council if S.M. Ranjith was appointed as the Chief Minister. Sources from Temple Trees say the President had not responded to the message.