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“National candidate” Gota need not obtain SLFP membership – Rohitha

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) today questioned calls expressed by some quarters for its presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to obtain Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) membership before the upcoming election.

Speaking to journalists today, SLPP spokesman MP Rohitha Abeygunawardana dismissed the idea as impractical as, according to him, Rajapaksa will run for President as a “national candidate”.

“Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not even taken membership of the SLPP. He will run for president as a national candidate representing all the parties [in an as-yet-unannounced allianced],” the MP said.

The SLPP has proved that the former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence has the widest support among the public, he added.

Meanwhile, stating that the SLPP and SLFP have already come to an agreement on policy, SLPP Chairman Prof G.L Peiris said that another round of talks will be held tomorrow with SLFP representatives to discuss the way forward.

“We will have talks with the SLFP at 10am tomorrow at the Opposition Leader’s office. Basil Rajapaksa, Dullas Alahapperuma and I will represent the SLPP. We believe that there is a national need for an anti-UNP force to face a presidential election at present, and we firmly believe that we will attain that goal,” Prof Peiris said.

Asked if discussions about the presidential candidate will also take place at tomorrow’s meeting, however, he responded in the negative.

“I don’t think it is of any use to discuss the presidential candidate tomorrow as we have already nominated our candidate. Tomorrow we will talk about how to work together and achieve the expected result,” he said.

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