Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) de facto leader Mahinda Rajapaksa will select and announce the party’s presidential candidate, a strong leader and a “king who speaks in one voice,” on 11 August unlike the United National Party (UNP) which is embroiled in a three-cornered fight for its nominee, SLPP President Prof. G. L. Peiris said.
Speaking to journalists at the SLPP headquarters today (29), Prof. Peiris said Rajapaksa will take into account certain factors and presidential qualities before deciding on a candidate and will name the person who he believes is best suited for the job.
“The candidate must be able to give the kind of leadership the country needs at present. The country expects a strong leader who keeps his word, a king who speaks in one voice and sticks to one principle. Moreover, people expect a leader who can ensure everyone’s security. Former President Rajapaksa will consider those characteristics when selecting the candidate,” Peiris said.
Peiris further said that the SLPP candidate should also be able to build confidence and attract investments to the country and strengthen the economy.
“Once the candidate is announced, we will begin the election campaign which will end in a massive victory. The Government is using various tactics to take the spotlight away from the presidential election. One of these is to talk about holding provincial council elections first. These efforts will prove fruitless,” he said.
Meanwhile, addressing the press conference, SLPP MP Rohitha Abeygunawardana expressed his confidence that over ninety-nine per cent of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leaders will join the Rajapaksa camp in the upcoming election and pointed out that SLFP members cannot be with the UNP, as its leader President Maithripala Sirisena has openly criticised Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.