SLFP frontliners await MS-MR talks | Sunday Observer

SLFP frontliners await MS-MR talks

SLFP frontliners said they would be able to comment on the final outcome of the talks between the SLFP and SLPP within the next few days based on the consensus to be reached by SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena and SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

However, SLFP seniors said they will not obtain membership of any other political party and added that the SLFP-backed presidential candidate will definitely secure victory at the election. They said the SLFP will not support the UNP at the upcoming Presidential Election.

The seventh round of talks between the SLFP and SLPP to form a political alliance to contest the upcoming Presidential Election was held at the Opposition Leader’s office, Colombo on Tuesday, August 27.

SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, SLFP Treasurer Lasantha Alagiyawanna participated in the discussion on behalf of the SLFP. SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa and Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris represented the SLPP at the discussions which lasted about two hours. At the conclusion of the discussions, SLPP National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa who spoke to the media said that the discussions between two parties were conducted in a cordial manner.

He said the final consensus will be reached by SLPP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena. He said both parties will report on the outcome of the talks to their party hierarchy. Rajapaksa said they reached agreement on several matters policy matters. “The SLFP also submitted several proposals to be put forward to SLPP Presidential candidate and we also think these are very good proposals such as to change the electoral system and restrict the number of Ministers of the Cabinet. Actually, the SLPP was also really interested with regard to these proposals.”

Responding to a question raised by journalists whether the SLFP had agreed to accept Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the presidential candidate, former Minister Rajapaksa said no such consensus was reached. SLFP General Secretary MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said what is more important to them is the policy decisions taken by the two parties. Some views were exchanged between the two parties about the presidential candidate as well.

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said, “The SLFP intends to make an action plan victorious rather than a particular person.”

MP Jayasekara said they are happy that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not obtained membership of any political party as yet. “We need a national leader to take the country forward. I think Rajapaksa intends to govern the country based on a certain policy framework. However, if he wants to obtain SLFP membership, we are willing to extend our party membership to him.” However, Jayasekara categorically rejected the claim that they have nominated SLFP senior Kumara Welgama as their candidate. Meanwhile, political sources confirmed that a discussion between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa about the new political alliance to be formed was held on Tuesday night.

Both leaders had agreed to seek the participation of SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the next round of discussions. UPFA General Seretary MP Mahinda Amaraweera told the Sunday Observer “The SLPP also accepted our proposal to rebuild the local economy. We also put forward a series of proposals to preserve the identity of the SLFP and we could come to some sort of consensus regarding it. SLPP representatives said they would further discuss these proposals with their constituent parties and keep us informed,” he said.

Amaraweera said, “We didn’t put forward any conditions on the ministerial portfolios or electorates to be given to us.

We would be able comment on the final outcome of the talks between two parties within the next few days based on the consensus reached by the two leaders.”

He said the SLFP has no intention to align with the UNP and “We will not extend our support to the UNP at the upcoming Presidential Election. However, as SLFPers we will not obtain the membership of any other political party as well. The SLFP backed candidate will definitely secure victory.” 

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