Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa says his son parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa will not be old enough to contest for president at the presidential elections next year.
However, Mr. Rajapaksa, although remaining hopeful that he can fight the term limit introduced by the 19th Amendment in court, said his brother, former defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who was indicted Monday at the special high Court for misappropriating state funds, would certainly be a contender.
“My son [Namal Rajapaksa] can’t be a presidential candidate since they have now raised the minimum age to 35 years, instead of 30, so he can’t be considered in 2019. My brother is certainly a contender,” Mr. Rajapaksa told The Hindu.
However, he said “the party [SLPP], and the coalition will have to decide who the people want.”
The former president, who is in Delhi to deliver a public lecture on Wednesday, in an interview with The Hindu made it clear that he would be leading the party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), into the elections.
Mr. Rajapaksa remained hopeful that that he would still have a chance to contest the elections despite the term limit introduced by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. “There is a view that despite the Amendment I can fight elections and then fight it out in court,” the former two-time president said.