MP Welgama hails decision to field SLFP candidate | Sunday Observer

MP Welgama hails decision to field SLFP candidate

SLFP stalwart MP Kumara Welgama yesterday welcomed the decision taken by the party to field its own candidate at the upcoming Presidential Election. According to Welgama the disintegration of the party is not permissible and the SLFP has no need to align with any party for its survival.

Considering the future of the country and the party, the SLFP should field its own Presidential Candidate. It could have a good future due to the decision to field its own Presidential candidate. The SLFP alone was able to secure 1.6 million votes at the last Local Government election, MP Welgama told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said the SLFP Presidential candidate should essentially be a democrat. “The next President to be elected should be a person amenable to criticism and tolerant not to take revenge from his political opponents” he added.

Welgama said if the SLFP Leader President Maithripala Sirisena contests as the Presidential Candidate, he would be all out to support him. “Otherwise, I will stand by whatever the decision taken by the party to nominate a candidate. If my party leader invites me to contest as the SLFP Presidential candidate, I am ready to take up the challenge. I have gained a good reputation among the people as an outspoken politician who makes bold statements. I also have the necessary credentials to be the SLFP Presidential candidate. I have acted as SLFP electoral organiser for 38 years and represented Parliament for over 25 years without a break.

“When the SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara has already informed the Election Commissioner on the SLFP’s decision to field its own candidate, there is no need to continue talks with the SLPP. I think this is a decision taken in the interest of the country. Therefore, SLFP General Secretary’s letter sent to the Election Commissioner is important. Under whatever circumstances, we should not change this decision”, he said.

The SLFP stalwart said he didn’t accept Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the SLPP Presidential candidate. “He has not yet withdrawn his dual citizenship. Anybody who searches the internet would know that the US has not yet taken a decision to revoke Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship. He has not shown any document to prove that his US citizenship has been revoked. The documents that Rajapaksa shows are the ones he submitted to the US requesting to revoke his US citizenship,” Welgama said.

He said “a dual citizen cannot be a Presidential candidate in Sri Lanka without having his dual citizenship revoked. Although Geetha Kumarasinghe with her dual citizenship contested from the UPFA ticket and was elected a Member of Parliament from the Galle District later she lost her parliamentary seat following a petition by Piyasena Gamage.”