UPFA MP and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) member Dilum Amunugama told reporters that there is an attempt to have the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the SLPP contest the next elections together under one alliance.
He said that the SLPP, however, is of the firm opinion that no matter what, a Rajapaksa must be the presidential candidate of the SLPP.
Amunugama said that President Sirisena can contest the election as the SLFP candidate, but whether he wins or not is something to be seen.
However, he said a majority of the public clearly wants Mahinda Rajapaksa as their leader, but he cannot contest the presidential election as a result of a clause in the 19th Amendment.
“The public want Mahinda Rajapaksa and they will clearly give their vote to him,” he said.
Amunugama said that since Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest the next presidential election, the public will vote for another Rajapaksa.
“Maithripala Sirisena is not a Rajapaksa,” he asserted.
UPFA MP and SLPP member Roshan Ranasinghe, speaking at a public event on Friday, said that President Sirisena accused him of being critical of the President.
Ranasinghe, however, said that it was the United National Party (UNP) that was critical of him.
“We need to face reality. There is a saying ‘when you have power, you have no brains’. This cannot be,” he said.
He also said that there are some SLFP members who say that if the SLFP and the SLPP form an alliance, the presidential candidate must be President Sirisena and not a Rajapaksa.
“We cannot agree. Sirisena contested the last election only to be the President for one term. But when I say something about that, he gets angry,” Ranasinghe said.
Ranasinghe further added that President Sirisena must retire as promised by the time the next presidential election was held and support a Rajapaksa to be president.
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by themorning.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)