- SLFP,political parties backing GR to join coalition
- SLPP claims all ready to ensure 6.5 m votes for GR
By Nuwan Senarathna
The political coalition to back Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be formed on 31 October, SLPP spokesman MP Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday.
The ceremony to form the coalition will be held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) at 9.30 am. The coalition will be named the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna (SLNPP). Political parties backing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and SLPP will also join the coalition to pledge support to Rajapaksa.
Speaking to media at the SLFP and SLPP joint media centre in Rajagiriya, Alahapperuma said the coalition will strengthen Rajapaksa’s election campaign. He noted all like-minded political parties would join the coalition, which in his view would ensure Rajapaksa’s victory.
“With this new coalition, Rajapaksa will be able to get more than 6.5 million votes. The SLFP’s decision to back Rajapaksa has assured his victory. All like-minded people will vote Rajapaksa, as he is the only candidate that is capable of developing the country,” Alahapperuma said.
He argued the SLPP received 5 million votes at the Local Government Elections in 2018, and combining that with the SLFP’s 15 million votes would ensure that Rajapaksa will get 6.5 million votes. According to Alahapperuma, the Local Government Elections can be used to recognise voting patterns that will remain relevant to the upcoming Presidential Election. “Comparing to 2018 and current trends, the Government is more unpopular among the public. The failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks will also play a big role in this election. The Government has shown that they are unable to address economic challenges, which is also another reason why the public will reject this Government.”
Referring to voting patterns in the North, Alahapperuma claimed the 2018 Local Government Elections had shown that SLFP and SLPP are capable of picking up some minority votes. He argued that this trend has now potentially increased, resulting in Rajapaksa standing to gain at least a portion of minority votes.
“The last Local Government Election proved the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was unable to dominate the election as in the previous instance. This shows that the SLFP and the SLPP have a better chance to get more votes in the North. People in the North are unhappy about the TNA, as they have not done anything for people in the North,” he said.
Pic by Chamila Karunarathne