Chandrika joins alliance backing Sajith

Ten political parties and a number of civil society groups including a breakaway faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga formally pledged their support to presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa today.

An agreement was signed by representatives of the different groups at Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo this morning, in the presence of DNF presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Several political parties including Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Democratic People’s Front, Jathika Hela Urumaya, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Tamil Progressive Alliance, Nava Sama Samaja Party signed the agreement. Representatives of several civil society organisations, including those led by Dambara Amila Thero, Saman Ranthnapriya and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara also declared their support to Premadasa.

Addressing the gathering, the DNF candidate said that the journey of the newly formed alliance is based on social democracy.

“Today, many political parties including the UNF and the group led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga have pledged to create a country with disciplined governance,” Premadasa said.

The main objective for the alliance, he said, is “to bring prosperity, development and social equity to our motherland while safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and giving priority to Buddhism. This is a journey based on social democracy. Our objective is to create a knowledge-based economy. We intend to usher in a transformation in the democratic history of Sri Lanka”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that everyone in the alliance will support Premadasa’s victory in order to ensure democracy.

“If we don’t take forward the victory we achieved, we will go back to a dark era. Our arch-enemy is poverty. We have to eliminate it,” he said.

“Now, if the anti-democratic forces get together, we say that we will safeguard democracy and that [fight will be led by] Sajith Premadasa. We will make sure he wins and further strengthen democracy,” Wickremesinghe added.

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