Rajapaksa still remains popular among country's Sinhala Buddhist ethnic majority (File Photo)
President: Rajapaksa's not going to be the Prime Minister
(NIDAHASA News) President Maithripala Sirisena, in a hard-hitting letter, reaffirmed that he do not want his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to become the next Prime Minister.
In a letter sent to former president and Kurunegala district parliament candidate just 4 days ahead of the lection, Sirisena says he do not hope Rajapaksa to become the Preme Minister under any election scenario.
"If the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) secured at least 113 seats, I believe the premiership should go to a senior leader who did not have an opportunity."
There are senior like Chamal Rajapaksa, Susil Premajayantha, Athauda Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, John Seneviratne and A.H.M. Fowzie to pick up as the Prime Minister, Sirisena said.
In an earlier speech, President revealed that he was forced to accept nominations for his former rival to avoid dividing the party. However he assured Rajapaksa would not win the election.
Despite their leaders stance however, most of the UPFA top leaders, especially those who from small parties within the coalition, carried out election campaign with Rajapaksa as their de facto Prime Minister candidate. In his five-page-long letter, President accuses Rajapaksa of being a ‘prisoner’ of smaller constituent parties within the UPFA, effectively destroying the SLFP.
“You must take the responsibility for making the glorious SLFP, a party with a 64-year history, hostage to the petty agendas of small parties and groups,” the letter says.
The UPFA Chairman accuses Rajapaksa of distaining ethnic minorities and transforming it in to a party that only represents Sinhala-Buddhists.
"During your nine-year leadership, you have transformed it into a party that turns it's back to the pluralism and social realities." Sirisena says that Rajapksa lost January Presidential election as a result of "communal flames" he himself had set alight.
"It is hilarious that you have started to visit temples around the country along with media coverage following your election loss," President says Rajapaka's political behavior and statements however indicate his burning hatred and egoism.
Rajapaksa's decade-long regime falls to once his own cabinet minister Maithripala Sirisena, snap presidential election held on January. Several ption polls shows that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) leads the upcoming election. However the former president still remains popular among country's Sinhala Buddhist ethnic majority and could pose a serious challenge to UNP especially in in southern rural areas.