Maithripala Sirisena | Mahinda Rajapaksa

President Maithripala Sirisena today said that elements of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had been attempting to bring former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Parliament through the National List after passing the No-Confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Making a special statement at the Presidential Secretariat this evening, President Sirisena said the plan had been for a UPFA National List MP to resign and for the former President to be appointed to Parliament to fill that vacancy. By dissolving Parliament when he did, President Sirisena claimed that he defeated attempts made to seize government control and roll back the progressive reforms that were enacted after January 8.

Speaking further, President Sirisena said he would remain neutral at the General Election and would not support Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said he opposed giving nominations to Mahinda Rajapaksa and still opposed it. “My opposition to Mahinda Rajapaksa stands,” he stressed.

Sirisena also ruled out appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister even in the event that the UPFA emerged victorious at the election. He said in the event of victory, there were many seniors in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) that could be appointed as Prime Minister.