President Maithripala Sirisena had reportedly told a UPFA party leaders meeting yesterday that he was not in favour of making former president Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime ministerial candidate or the group leader of the UPFA at the forthcoming general elections. However he had informed the UPFA party leaders that he would inform them whether former president Rajapaksa would be given nomination from the UPFA by 10.00 am today.
At the meeting, party leaders such as Dinesh Gunawardane, Vasudeva Nanayakkara,and Prof. Tissa Vitharana had insisted that Mr. Rajapaksa be nominated.
However, there were others who were opposed to it. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) seniors had expressed views for and against it. But the president remained non-committal, it is learnt.
Instead, the president had said he could not give a ruling on the matter at that time. He had said he would make an announcement by 10.00 am today after consulting his party. There seems to be a division within the group of SLFP MPs who took ministerial posts in the government of President Sirisena.
Meanwhile, speaking to Daily Mirror, Democratic Left Front leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the UPFA Party Leaders’ meeting had been fruitless and frustrating.
He said the UPFA leaders had intended to work out nomination lists comprising members from both factions but there was no agreement.
Now, he said, the UPFA factions supportive of Mr. Rajapaksa would look to the next option -- to contest under a different symbol.
A group of SLFP leaders, including former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, had exerted pressure on the president to resist any move to accommodate Mr. Rajapaksa on board to contest the general elections or to spearhead the election campaign.
Yet, another faction comprising a sizeable chunk of the SLFP, is pressing for his nomination. The situation has placed the president in a precarious situation, being unable to take up a final position and make a formal announcement. Besides, a six member committee appointed by the SLFP Central Committee had recommended the nomination of Mr. Rajapaksa as a candidate. It is reliably learnt that three foreign missions, including one of a neighbouring country had pressured the president not to accommodate Mr. Rajapaksa.
The pro-Rajapaksa faction is hoping to receive the final decision of the president at least by today so that it can opt for the next alternative to contest the election. For that purpose, a political formation has been worked out under a different symbol.
Besides, some parties and groups that backed President Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8 Presidential Election have asked the president to declare his stance clearly by today, so that they too could work out alternate strategies to contest the election. For that purpose, these parties and groups are considering the swan symbol of the National Democratic Front.(Kelum Bandara)
Comments - 13
Bala Friday, 03 July 2015 01:22 PM
For the sake of the future of Sri Lanka - HOPE NOT.
Rohan Friday, 03 July 2015 09:07 AM
When so much odds stacked against him I love to see MR pull this off from the jaws of defeat. I just love comeback stories.
ric Friday, 03 July 2015 05:29 PM
You got to be joking mate,MR needs to retire
ra Friday, 03 July 2015 09:18 AM
The president should have given clear no to Mahinda Rajapaksa because people have given mandate to Srisena to remove Mahinda regime and replace that regime that respect law and order, and build reconciliation between races. Dragging by the president sends a wrong message that contradict the mandate given by the people on January 08. Sri Lanka is a multicultural country, either PM or President should get mandate from Tamils, Muslims, and Singhalese. Since Rajapakasa was rejected by Tamils and Muslim, Rajapaksa is not longer qualified to lead a government.
Devaka Jayasuriya Friday, 03 July 2015 09:20 AM
If Maithree is to give in to foreign missions and make his situation precarious, shows he is a scarecrow. Democracy is to make him contest if he wishes. Creating an impasse proves the fear of the opposition factions. If 100 day programme was successful why worry ?
Harith Friday, 03 July 2015 09:29 AM
This is such a joke. One days the President says he will give nominations to MR another day says will not be given. Thinking too much of what will be said by CBK/Rajitha fraction and from the other side thinking of the huge movement of previous MPs to MR side. President can you please take a decision quickly so we can move on from this topic.
freddu Saturday, 04 July 2015 12:00 PM
Fault finding mouth fear MR because he has proven capabilities and The best at the moment. MS ditched MR and now feeling guilty and trying to discredit MR at any cost because he fear him and knows that MR will win. The majority will have to safe the country. MS, RW, CBK, raw, minorities all collobarating to elinimate One Man MR. The people have realised and very strongly supports MR. And he will win.
Premalal Friday, 03 July 2015 10:53 AM
Mr President why are you vacillating so much to dump the most corrupt politician this country has seen. ? This is according to your own assessment.
sri lankan Friday, 03 July 2015 10:53 AM
Absolutely. Well said.
Prev Friday, 03 July 2015 11:00 AM
Now I realize they have chosen the common candidate very carefully. Some one who can be controlled.
upali Friday, 03 July 2015 11:02 AM
MR wanted to declare of his non-offering of nomination on your own mouth as he knows that will stand as a bigger advantage for him to contest with a separate alliance.
TONY Friday, 03 July 2015 11:45 AM
THIS IS NO EASY TASK FOR MS. MR HAS PUT MS IN A MESS BY MAKING HIM LEADER OF SLFP. ANY DECISION MS TAKES WILL CREATE CHAOS
Cyril n Friday, 03 July 2015 11:49 AM
If MS gives nomination to all those accused of corruption he would be breaking his election promise and letting down his voters.
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