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SLFP and SLPP should put forward a joint candidate for President – Amaraweera

MP Mahinda Amaraweera is warning that if the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna put forward two different candidates for the Presidential elections, the United National Party is likely to win.

Amaraweera, who is the General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Front, was speaking to Media on Thursday, July 4, about discussions the SLFP was having with the SLPP about forming an alliance to contest future elections.

He said the current position of the SLFP is that it will put forward its own candidate for the Presidency. He agreed that the SLPP is also looking for a candidate and “several names have been mentioned.”

Putting forward common candidates for the posts of President and Prime Minister is the aim of the discussions, he added.

“We are optimistic it will happen. But in case it doesn’t then there will be different candidates for these posts from the two parties.”  

“In case that happens the UNP will win,” he added.

He said the discussions regarding an alliance are on-going although a final decision has not yet been made.

Amaraweera said that on Tuesday the SLPP had forwarded a series of proposals and there had a wide-ranging discussion on them.

He says in case a joint front is formed they agreed they would contest as the “Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna.”

 “We are agreed on a 25 point policy platform, but there are other matters such as a Constitution for an alliance to be negotiated,” he said.

He pointed out that there has to be agreement about which party would hold the various posts in the alliance.

He also said that the SLFP hopes to submit its suggestions to the other side shortly.

The talks are continuing despite tensions rising between the two groups.

The latest salvo was fired on Tuesday (2) by former Minister Anura Priyadashana Yapa calling on all SLFP members to gather around Mahinda Rajapaksa and accept his leadership.

According to a press release issued by the SLPP, Yapa said that the SLFP is deteriorating at a rapid pace at the grassroots level.

“The membership is decreasing as they are rejecting the party,” Yapa who was an SLFP stalwart but is now with Rajapaksa’s SLPP said.

“To retain their dignity, they should leave and join us,” he said. “They should back our candidate (for the Presidency),” he added.