Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that they would not change their presidential candidate at any cost.
Mr. Rajapaksa gave this assurance in response to questions posed by journalists at the BMICH in Colombo while he was attending an exhibition.
When asked whether the candidate would be changed if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) supported the SLPP, Mr.Rajapaksa said, “Absolutely no! We are not ready to change anyone we appoint. When a decision is taken, you have to stick to it.”
He said the discussions are continuing with the SLFP and they were cordial. He also said the SLFP MPs’ recent meeting with SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a success.
“This is not an attempt of one party engulfing the other. We are simply trying to join together to ensure the victory of one presidential candidate. The two parties have their own identity but they are also like two brothers,” he said.
When asked whether he thought that they were too hasty in nominating the presidential candidate, Mr.Rajapaksa said, “It was the right time. That’s why the JVP announced their candidate a week after. The UNP is struggling with intra-party issues and that's why they are getting delayed in nominating a candidate. They say it is in the party constitution to do so but the real reason is their conflicts within.” (Lahiru Pothmulla)