General Secretary of the UPFA Mahinda Amaraweera, MP told the media, yesterday, that the SLFP Central Committee had decided to field a candidate at the upcoming presidential election, but the party’s talks with the SLPP would continue. He said the SLFP had not yet decided to support the SLPP’s presidential candidate.
The SLFP would meet SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and have talks with him on a common agenda to be adopted. If the two parties could agree thereon, then a decision could be taken as to whether the SLFP could back the SLPP candidate, Amaraweera said.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition and SLPP leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa were expected to meet, soon, for crucial talks after the two separate committees appointed by the SLFP and SLPP had met for deliberations this week, political sources said.
The two separate committees were appointed by President Sirisena as the SLFP leader and Rajapaksa as the newly appointed head of the SLPP to iron out contentious issues and build a common understanding on working together.
This has been viewed as critically important against the backdrop of the forthcoming presidential polls.
In addition, elections to Provincial Councils were also on the cards, the sources said.
The two committees appointed by the two respective party leaders were scheduled to meet either on Monday or Tuesday, SLFP sources indicated.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris and MPs Dalas Alahapperuma to the party’s committee, while SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena has named UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, MP, SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, MP, and Assistant Secretary Lasantha Alagiyawanna, MP.