Marikkar foresees Premadasa and AKD as main contenders for Presidential poll

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SJB MP S.M. Marikkar 

  • Casts doubts on Ranil Wickremesinghe’s chances, even under SLPP ticket, due to potential lack of support
  • Says SJB is confident of securing 7 million votes, considering Premadasa’s previous performance and growing support
  • Highlights AKD’s difficulty in garnering votes needed to win election given his previous vote count

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP S.M. Marikkar yesterday said SJB leader Sajith Premadasa and National People’s Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake will be the primary contenders in the upcoming presidential election. He suggested that Ranil Wickremesinghe is unlikely to run or fail to secure enough votes under the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) ticket.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Marikkar said despite the various tricks by Ranil Wickremesinghe even if Wickremesinghe wins the SLPP tickets its members will not vote for him. “If he works with the minorities, the sinhalese will not vote for him and vice versa,” he said. 

Marikkar expressed his personal belief that Wickremesinghe will not contest the election. He said therefore, Premadasa and Dissanayake will be the main contenders and it will be an easy win for the SJB.

He noted that while 16.8 million voters are registered, Premadasa secured nearly 5.6 million votes in the last presidential election despite the many challenges, whereas Dissanayake received only 400,000 votes.

“Therefore, obtaining the 7 million votes needed to win is an easy task for the SJB. The crowds at recent SJB events in districts such as Galle, Monaragala, Ampara, and Hambantota in which the SJB does not have majority support show that people are moving towards the SJB. We have gained more than 1.5 million supporters,” he said.

The MP said that it would be practically impossible for the NPP to win the presidential election, as they would need to garner at least 6.5 million votes. Given that they received only 400,000 votes in the last election, he said, this will be a difficult task.