In the event Mahinda Rajapaksa proposes Maithripala Sirisena’s name as the next presidential candidate, plans are made to nominate an independent candidate from the SLPP, it is reported.
Basil Rajapaksa feels that Maithripala Sirisena does not have the ability to win the presidential election and if they nominate him and he loses, it could impact negatively on the party at the next general election.
Basil had said in Matara last Wednesday (13) that by December 9th an SLPP candidate would be sworn in as the President of the country.
According to internal sources, Mahinda Rajapaksa is in favour of nominating Maithripala Sirisena as the presidential candidate as certain ethnic groups would not favour Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
However, in such an event an independent candidate would be nominated from the SLPP and Basil and his close allies are making plans for such an eventuality, it is learnt.
In such an event, the SLPP would focus more on winning the general election than the Presidential election.
When we contacted Gampaha district MP Prasanna Ranatunge regarding this issue he said that appeals had been made to nominate a presidential candidate from the SLPP. However, he noted that Mahinda Rajapaksa would nominate the next presidential candidate and that the rest of the party would support his decision.