Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Mayor Dhanasiri Amaratunga yesterday told the SLFP board conducting interviews with candidate hopefuls for the 17 AugustParliamentary election that he would not contest from the party if it failed to grant former President Mahinda Rajapaksa a nomination.
“In the past, at these interviews before elections, these rooms were full,” Amaratunga told reporters after his interview at the SLFP headquarters in Darley Road. “That was during President Rajapaksa’s time. Now there are barely 100 people asking for nominations,” he charged.
“I told the board that I would not contest unless Mahinda Rajapaksa was also on the ticket,” he claimed.
Other young candidates, like provincial councillor Malsha Kumaratunga expressed hope that the party could unite ahead of the election.
SLFP Seniors vetting the candidates, included A.H.M Fowzie, Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. “The party is keen to nominate politicians who are not corrupt or tainted,” Amunugama told reporters after the interviews.