Ending days of speculation, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today formally announced that he will contest the upcoming General Election.

Addressing a large crowd of supporters today at his home in Medamulana, the former President said he did not have the right to refuse the request made by them to stand for election again.

He called upon all nation-loving people from all parties, including the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), United National Party (UNP) and others to join hands with him at the upcoming election.

However, Rajapaksa made no specific reference on which party he will contest the election from. There was also no mention of whether Rajapaksa will be the prime ministerial candidate. This followed feverish speculation that he would also announce his candidacy from the UPFA. But aside from noting that he will contest, Rajapaksa did not reveal the party or alliance he will contest from and made no mention of being the PM candidate.