Sri Lanka opposition parties ink deal for presidential polls

Dec 01, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party, a former army general, a cricket captain and several smaller parties and civil society groups inked a deal to field defected health minister Maithripla Sirisena as a candidate for presidential polls.

Sirisena pledged to abolish the executive Presidency, bring back rule of law and justice by giving independence to the judiciary and the public service.

Sirisena defected from President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party where he was general secretary along with fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne last month.

Former army chief Sarath Fonseka, himself the loser in a 2010 presidential poll said he was supporting Sirisena to end arbitrary rule in the country.

Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said they hoped to enact a new constitution within 100 days of coming to and run an administration for two years until parliamentary election using the first past the post system.

If they cannot get the expected majority to change the constitution, parliament will be dissolved for early polls.

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