ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his group will contest upcoming polls, "accepting an invitation from the people" and form a new government correcting mistakes of the past.
"I cannot disregard the invitation from the people," Rajapaksa told reporters at his home in Southern Sri Lanka.
"For the betterment of our motherland we must contest the elections.
"We will re-start the halted development and economy. We will re-establish rule of law and democracy.
He called upon patriots from all parties to join in their effort.
"We are ready to form a new government in the future."
"We want to correct mistakes and go forward," he said.
It was not very clear whether he himself will enter the elections or from which party. He was widely expected to clearly announce his candidature as Prime Minister for the polls today, but no specific mention of being a Prime Ministerial candidate was made.
His personal twitter feed was also silent.
Rajapaksa contesting separately is expecting to split the vote of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party, making it much easier for the rival United National Party to get win more seats and get a majority. He also said in his will not be a traitor to his party.