- SLFP insists on Sirisena running again
- Says whoever wants to support the decision can form the alliance
President Maithripala Sirisena will not call for an early Election despite legal provisions to do so, Sri Lanka Freedom Party spokesperson Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday.
“The President has no intention to call for an early Election. His term ends next year in January and he will call for Elections around the end of October or the beginning of November. There is no hurry to call for an early Election,” he said, speaking at the SLFP weekly press briefing held in the Party head office. Confident of Sirisena’s popularity, SLFP also maintains that their leader should be the Presidential candidate for the next Election.
“He is very popular with both Southern communities and the minority communities. So he is the logical selection,” he said.
However, he said this was subject to Sirisena consenting to run again, Samarasinghe noted. During his campaign for the 2015 Presidential Elections, Sirisena stated that he will not run for the position again. It is not clear if Sirisena has since then changed his mind. Samarasinghe also said that although talks are under way to form a broader alliance with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the question of Presidential candidate in the upcoming Elections has not been discussed.
“Those who support President Maithripala Sirisena for the next Presidential Election can join the alliance. I am not sure what the SLPP position is,” he said.
Noting that any candidate has to take at least 51% of votes, Samarasinghe insisted that the only popular person who can gain the support of minority communities as well is Sirisena, and is thus the only candidate suitable to run for the 2019 election.
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