Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka struck a note of caution for the common candidate to be picked this time, literally comparing it to the act of sending one to the gallows.
Mr. Fonseka, who unsuccessfully contested the 2010 presidential election as the common candidate, said the prospective candidate should take up such a challenge with care.
"I can tell it with my past experience as the common candidate. At the beginning, there are many surrounding you. But, nobody is with you when things go wrong. Therefore, the prospective candidate should be very careful when taking a decision in this regard. One has to languish in jail if plans go awry. One cannot rule out such a predicament given the political culture of this country," he said.
Mr. Fonseka said his party stood for the pruning of executive powers rather than abolishing it in full. He said the presidential system existed in other countries, but its powers were exercised for the good of their people.
He said his Democratic Party, as a matter of policy, would decide on its stance on the common candidate after taking into account his or her past integrity, track record and ability.
However, opposition MP Arjuna Ranatunga, who was with Mr. Fonseka initially and later fell out with him, said one should the put the country before self at this hour of need.(Kelum Bandara)
Video by Sanath Desmond