‘Mass exodus of MPs expected if MR gets nomination under UPFA or SLFP ticket’

If President Maithripala Sirisena had taken a decision to give nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest under the United People’s Freedom Front (UPFA) or the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ticket, he will not be able to prevent a mass exodus of UPFA and SLFP MPs from joining other political parties to contest the forthcoming general election, Constitutional lawyer and Transparency International Executive Director J.C. Weliamuna yesterday told the Daily News.

Waliamuna said, “there is no element of doubt about it. A sizable number of UPFA and SLFP Parliamentarians will be compelled to walk out of their party on account of a decision to this effect.”

“But wait, the President had neither made any official announcement in this regard nor has he issued any media statements about it,” he said.

On being pointed out that some SLFP and UPFA MPs have already expressed their willingness to cross over to the United National Party (UNP) to contest the election under the UNP, since a statement issued by UPFA General Secretary Susil Premayantha that President Sirisena had allowed Rajapaksa to contest under the UPFA banner, Weliamuna said, “ it is obvious in that case that the UPFA and SLFP Parliamentarians would be compelled to join another political party to contest the general election away from Rajapaksa’s camp.

“It is very clear that corrupt members have rallied around Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming election purely to stop ongoing bribery and corruption investigations,” he said

mahinda and army“Granting permission to Rajapaksa to contest under the UPFA ticket to betraying those promises given to the public at the January 8 Presidential Election,” Weliamuna said.

“The Rajapaksa camp has more money than the government.The money has been allegedly amassed through embezzlement of public funds, commissions and bribes they had collected through various projects. The public rejected the government of Rajapaksa basically over alleged corruption and the lack of law and order,” he explained.

“The MPs who opposed Rajapaksa in the January 8 Presidential Election will be compelled to abandon the UPFA and SLFP because they would not be able to go to the public and ask for their vote from a platform that represents the candidature of Rajapaksa,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, UNP MP and Plantation Industries Minister Lakshman Kiriella said, a large group of SLFP MPs have expressed their interest in joinimg the UNP after it has been announced that Mahinda Rajapaksa has been given nomination by the President to contest under UPFA ticket.

The UNP is considering granting nominations to them to contest under its symbol at the upcomong election, he said.

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Three SLFP ministers to contest from UNP

July 6 (DM) Lands Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Cultural Affairs Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake are considering contesting the forthcoming general elections from the UNP, according political sources. It is also reported that they had held discussions with former president Chandrika Kumaratunga about their future political arrangements. They have decided not to contest as SLFPers, if Mahinda Rajapaksa contests as a UPFA nominee, more..


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