Lanka seeks opposition defections to avoid snap polls | india | Hindustan Times
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Lanka seeks opposition defections to avoid snap polls

india Updated: Jan 11, 2007 16:35 IST
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The ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) on Thursday offered cabinet portfolios to opposition defectors in a bid to avoid holding a snap parliamentary election and to boost it's hold on the legislature.

The cabinet decided to accept defectors from the opposition United National Party (UNP) notwithstanding an understanding with them to cooperate on national issues, Media Minister Anura Yapa said.

"The cabinet decided that if any opposition member wants to join the cabinet we will accept them," Yapa told reporters here.

"We are not closing the door for anyone to join the government," he said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa two days ago discounted local media reports that he would call a snap parliamentary election, but said a cabinet reshuffle was being considered.

Rajapaksa came to power in November 2005 and inherited a parliament elected separately in 2004 where his SLFP is in the minority and depends on Marxists and Buddhist monks for survival.