Speaking to journalists at the Darley Road party headquarters yesterday (09), Samarasinghe said the incumbent would be fielded at the polls with the support of all SLFP MPs.
According to him, their candidate will be able to obtain around 57 per cent of the votes at the election, going by the performance of the SLFP and the SLPP at the last local government election.
As the incumbent’s term ends by December, the election should be held before 08 January 2020, he said.
As per constitutional provisions, the president can declare a presidential election after 08 January 2019, Samarasinghe said, noting however, that Sirisena would serve his full term.
No decision yet - Rajapaksa
Meanwhile, opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has told ‘Mawbima’ that their candidate was yet to be decided.
He said he was unaware of a decision to field Sirisena.
Meanwhile, SLPP founder Basil Rajapaksa says it will be Mahinda Rajapaksa, who would decide their candidate.
Addressing a seminar in Minuwangoda, he also said the SLPP was at talks with 29 parties to form an alliance.
MP Prasanna Ranatunga said any alliance to be formed should have ‘flower bud’ as the symbol.