By Sandun A Jayasekera
No discussions are to be held between President Maithripla Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa this week though reported by certain media institutions, SLFP General Secretary, MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said yesterday.
He said with the SLPP naming Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its presidential candidate, the SLFP would reconsider the rationale of continuing talks with the SLPP aimed at choosing a common candidate.
“The SLFP was in a dialogue for several months with only a few contentious issues to be sorted out. We were in agreement on many areas and hoping to finalize the agreement in August after selecting the presidential candidate collectively by the President and Mr. Rajapaksa. But all these plans have collapsed with the official naming of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the SLPP candidate,” the MP said.
He told Daily Mirror the SLFP expected to nominate a candidate from the SLFP-SLPP-led alliance after an agreement was signed by the two parties but the SLPP named its candidate even without consulting the SLFP as the main partner of the proposed alliance.
“What the SLPP has failed to realise is that Mr. Rajapaksa cannot obtain the required number of votes without the support of the minority communities. For that they need the support of the President because Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and other minority communities have great faith in the President. Besides, no political party can obtain the required number of votes to record an absolute majority at the presidential election without the support of the SLFP. This is the bitter truth that the other parties are reluctant to accept,” the MP said.
He said the SLFP Central Committee would meet the President this week to decide on the next course of action and the steps to be taken on SLFP members who attended the SLPP rally on Sunday ignoring the party’s stance and its constitution.
The SLFP was in a dialogue for several months with only a few contentious issues to be sorted out. We were in agreement on many areas and hoping to finalize the agreement in August after selecting the presidential candidate by the President and Mr. Rajapaksa