Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be contesting the August 17 Parliamentary elections from the Kurunegala District, while the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa would be contesting from the Hambantota District, a reliable SLFP source told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
He said both would contest as group leaders of the UPFA of their respective districts and the former President would also campaign island wide for the alliance.
The source added Chamal Rajapaksa had decided against retiring from politics as speculated by certain media recently.
Meanwhile, the SLFP yesterday admitted that there were mistakes and lapses when the UPFA ruled the country, but there would be no repetition of those omissions in the new UPFA.
Addressing the media at the party office yesterday, Yapa said the SLFP had been modernised since President Maithripala Sirisena became the leader of the party and that was why he agreed to give nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa putting behind all differences.
All decisions in respect of electing candidates for nomination including that of former President Rajapaksa, the district from which they contest and the party manifesto would be taken by the Central Committee of the UPFA headed by President Sirisena, he said.
Mr. Yapa said the UPFA manifesto would be released soon after the closing of tendering nominations on July 13 and a team of academics and senior members of the alliance were attending to the preparation of the manifesto of the UPFA.
“It is no doubt that we have many ideas, proposals and policy matters to discuss as the UPFA is an alliance comprising 14 political parties,” he said.
“But we are capable of resolving all these issues through dialogue and come to compromise as our final target is to defeat the UNP and form the next government,” he stressed.
“Now that the two factions under President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa have come to an understanding on how to face the election, there will be no separate rallies or press conferences by the faction led by President Rajapaksa,” he said.
“However, all these discussions and suggestions must come to an end tomorrow as we will have to finalise the nomination list to all districts by Thursday. No more discussion or alteration of nomination lists will be entertained after Thursday,” he added.
Mr. Yapa stressed that while rejecting nominations to applicants with controversial characters despite their political standing, the nomination board of the SLFP had given nominations to academics and professionals and had increased the number of female candidates. (Sandun A Jayasekera) – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/78927/chamal-from-hambantota#sthash.yOayHbcC.dpuf