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POSTED AT 09:23 AM 18-04-2019

Vasu to meet Sirisena and Chamal before deciding to back any presidential candidate

Says Gota still needs to prove himself as a politician

Democratic Left Front (DLF) Leader MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara is set to hold discussions with both President Maithripala Sirisena and United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) member Chamal Rajapaksa before declaring their party stance in the upcoming Presidential Election. 

Nanayakkara, who also met former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is widely speculated to be the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential candidate, said he will hold individual discussions with both Sirisena and Chamal Rajapaksa before making a final decision regarding who his party would support.  Nanayakkara told Daily FT that DLF will look at the policies of both individuals and examine any common grounds for support. 

The meetings are in line with a series of discussions with various parties to find a potential candidate for Presidential Election. 

Speaking of the meeting held with the younger Rajapaksa, Nanayakkara admitted that he would not be their first choice but the party had decided to conduct a discussions to present its policies. 

“We had originally disagreed and said that we would not be able to support him and the reasons were given for this as well. However, we later thought it was necessary to meet him and discuss the situation with him and explain why we said so,” he added. 

Nanayakkara pointed out Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s lack of experiences as a politician, casting doubt over Gotabaya’s ability to hold office as the head of state. He noted DLF would expect Rajapaksa to prove that he has the potential to become a political leader. 

He also said during talks that Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave assurance that he is able to harness skills needed to become a good politician. However, Nanayakkara previously maintained that DLF would support Chamal Rajapaksa to be nominated as the Presidential candidate. This is the first time DLF publically acknowledged the possibility of supporting the candidature of President Maithripala Sirisena if he runs for a second term.

Nuwan Senarathna‚Äč