Opposition and SLPP Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said although many candidates have been fielded in the presidential election with the objective of splitting votes, the votes for the SLPP candidate cannot be split from such moves.
He expressed these views while addressing a meeting of agricultural research officers at the SLPP Operational Centre at Wilgoda, Kurunegala on Thursday night.
“There are 35 presidential candidates. Most of them have been fielded to split our votes but it won't happen. We have fielded a candidate who loves the country and has already shown that he is capable of executing plans. We fielded him after many thorough discussions and after considering peoples’ requests and party leaders' consultations. It was not my personal decision,” Mr.Rajapaksa said.
He commented on presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa’s maiden rally held in Colombo and said all speakers at the rally had slung mud at the SLPP camp instead of speaking about what the UNP Government had done for the last four years.
“This was the same thing that happened during the 2015 election. They continue to sling mud at us and refrain from commenting on how they took political revenge and damaged democracy. Many of our officials were arrested, put in jail and then acquitted. Gamini Senarath and Johnston Fernando are examples. The government couldn’t start any new project because it was only focusing on political revenge,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He said his government made sure that all elections were held on time irrespective of their results. “This government fears election defeats and keeps postponing elections,” he said.
MPs Johnston Fernando, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, T.B.Ekanayake and Tharanath Basnayake were also present at the event. (Lahiru Pothmulla)