Speaking at a news conference last Sunday, UNP lawmaker Eran Wickramaratne stated that an alliance between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not weaken but rather sustain the electoral chances of the United National Party (UNP) at the upcoming election.

Elaborating on the matter to “The Nation”, Wickramaratne further stated that the Presidential Election held on January 8 did not involve political parties but a mass movement. “The election brought together a broad alliance, which was composed primarily of UNPers and floating votes. In the event of an alliance between the president and his predecessor, which remains unlikely, both chunks of the votes which brought the former to power will know where to turn to at the upcoming election.”

In any event, the Minister elaborated, this will not break apart but would sustain the base on which the UNP rests in the election to come. “We are not saying it will be a victory. We are saying that on account of this unlikely alliance, disillusioned voters will break away.”