Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is due to make a special statement to the media from his home at Medamulana shortly regarding his political future.
It is widely expected that Rajapaksa intends to formally announce that he will contest the upcoming General Election. However, it remains to be seen whether the former President will contest from the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) or some other political party or alliance.
Frantic negotiations were held over the past two days to resolve differences between President Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Sirisena’s media division last night issued a media statement stating that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has not agreed to nominate a prime ministerial candidate. However, a primary demand made by pro-Rajapaksa MPs had been that Rajapaksa be named as the SLFP’s PM candidate.
While the press release emphasized that no PM candidate has been named, there was pointedly no mention of whether Mahinda Rajapaksa will be given SLFP nominations to contest the General Election under the UPFA or if he has been offered a Parliamentary seat from the National List.
Meanwhile, it is reported that large crowds are currently arriving in Medamulana to hear the former President make his special announcement. Pro-Rajapaksa MPs and Provincial Councilors have also organized a vehicle parade to the former President’s home where they intend to invite him to contest the General Election.