The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is likely to decide on its stance on the next Presidential candidate in a week’s time. A frontliner of the party told the Sunday Observer that a meeting will be held in the coming weeks to discuss the future Presidential election. Discussions are also under way to hold the presidential election before its due date, the party source said.
SLFP parliamentarian Duminda Dissanayake denied any disagreement between the two parties. “There is no problem between the SLFP and SLPP on nominating President Maithripala Sirisena as the next Presidential candidate,” he said.
MP Dissanayake said that the SLFP is now holding discussions on forming a coalition between the two parties, and field President Sirisena as the next candidate. However, earlier in the week all former Provincial Council members of the SLPP unanimously decided to block any move to nominate President Maithripala Sirisena as the next Presidential candidate in a joint coalition between the SLPP and SLFP.
UPFA MP Kanchana Wijesekera said that the SLPP must nominate one of its own members as the next Presidential candidate.
“We must unite everyone in the anti-UNP camp. But the main force or the main party of that camp should be the SLPP and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has to be its leader” he said.
He denied reports of a secret agreement between the Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Sirisena on nominating Sirisena as the next Presidential candidate in a coalition.
As the parties seem to be engaged in a tussle, SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said President Maithripala Sirisena has not taken a decision as yet whether he would contest the next Presidential election.
Despite the SLPP saying that it would reach an agreement next week, Jayasekara said, it is too early to discuss the matter regarding the possible candidate. “We are not ready to give any undue advantage to the United National Party by giving an early decision on our Presidential candidate”.