President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today the real candidate he was facing at the January 8 presidential election was not common opposition candidate Maitripala Sirisena but former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
At a breakfast meeting in Temple Trees, President Rajapaksa told editors and heads of other media organisation that even United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had been pushed to a side in the campaign.
“This is a Chandrika-Mangala alliance that is working. Ranil is on a side. See in a few days what will happen. Chandrika is the real candidate .… Maitri..,” he said waving the hand to a side in a dismissive gesture.
The President said Mr. Wickremesinghe was the only person who could have posed a challenge.
“I still think Ranil is the person who could have given me a fight. He may have lost 29 times but he has the machinery to face an election,” he said adding that he could only wish Maitripala Sirisena good luck in the same manner that he wished Sarath Fonseka good luck.