Rajapaksa may contest for PM post, says aide

President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the leader of both the groups, has resisted calls to allow 69-year-old Mr. Rajapaksa to contest.

June 28, 2015 11:12 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 04:56 pm IST - Colombo:

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka’s former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, plans to return to mainstream politics as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the main opposition party, his close associate Kumar Welgama said on Sunday.

“He will be the prime ministerial candidate of either the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or the United People’s Freedom Alliance,” Mr. Welgama said.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the leader of both the groups, has resisted calls to allow 69-year-old Mr. Rajapaksa to contest.

However, a six-member committee appointed to have talks with Mr. Sirisena and Mr. Rajapaksa has clinched the former President’s candidature, Mr. Welgama said.

Mr. Sirisena, who was the Health Minister in the Rajapaksa Cabinet, joined the main opposition UNP just ahead of the January 8 presidential election.

Mr. Rajapaksa had sacked Mr. Sirisena from the party but handed him the leadership after the latter’s victory over him.

Speaking in the central town of Kandy this morning, the former President asked his supporters to “wait till Tuesday.”

Since the defeat in the presidential election, the Rajapaksa family has faced corruption charges.

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