SLPP heading for split

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is heading for a split with one section insisting on fielding its candidate at the presidential election and the other advocating support for the candidacy of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Daily Mirror learns.

The SLPP faction which is loyal to the Rajapaksa family has firmed up its position that the party should participate in the election by fielding its candidate. When the party’s executive committee met, such an idea emerged, but further discussion did not take place on the matter since the election has not yet been declared.

However, the party’s MPs who currently hold positions in the government openly back the candidacy of the President.

Chief Government Whip Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said the SLPP, as a party, had no one competent enough to win the presidential elections and therefore the party should refrain from fielding a candidate. Also, he was openly critical of the appointment of MP Namal Rajapaksa as the national organizer. He said Mr. Basil Rajapaksa should have taken care of the responsibilities of such a post instead.

The presidential election is scheduled for October this year in terms of the Constitution. The SLPP hierarchy has also sought a snap general election ahead of the presidential election but the President has declined to do so.