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UNP says will remain strong Opposition

COLOMBO: The United National Party (UNP) yesterday voiced its confidence that it would remain a strong Opposition in Parliament, despite its agreement on cooperating with the Government on several issues.

Referring to the Memorandum of Understanding the party signed with the ruling SLFP, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the MoU was not a coalition with the Government but a collaboration with the ruling party, while still in the Opposition.

Wickremesinghe said that his party will not hesitate to vote against the Government and to criticise the Government if the need arises and added that an active Opposition is the power that keeps a Government on its toes.

"This MoU is not for a coalition, this is an understanding to collaborate while one party is in the opposition and the other ruling the country," said Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP. Describing the MoU deal to usher good governance, and a bid to end the ethnic conflict, Wickremesinghe said the areas proposed to cooperate in the MoU are designed to bring economic prosperity to the county.

He said there are other countries where they have struck deals between main political parties to achieve similar goals and cited Mongolia as an example.

He said it was agreed by the parties to appoint a team headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Opposition Leader to oversee the implementation of the MoU.

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