Dayasiri Jayasekara is believed to be President Srisena’s strong personal preference as successor, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
President Maithripala Srisena has opened the way for a wide contest to replace him as SLFP leader and he named three possible successors among the “great people” who could assume the crown.
“There definitely comes a time where a fresh pair of eyes and fresh leadership would be good. The party has got some great people coming up – the Dayasiri Jayasekaras and the Arjuna Ranatungas and the Duminda Dissanayakas. There is plenty of talent there. I am surrounded by very good people.” the President told his closest advisors after yesterday’s meeting with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
According one of his advisors Sirisena said a “fresh pair of eyes” would be needed by 2018 to lead the party after his retirement.
President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday shot down the dreams of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he said that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would not nominate a Prime Ministerial candidate before the next election.
Turning down the request made by pro-MR faction to name the Prime Ministerial candidate of the party, Sirisena said such a measure would be disadvantageous to the party at the election. The President’s swift response indicated that he had no intention to accommodate the former President at the next election as the PM candidate of the party.
Sirisena believes family politics must be ended, our source said.
“President Maithripala Srisena believes that the Chief Minister of the North Central Province Dayasiri Jayasekara is one of the party’s greatest ‘strikers’ who will play a prominent role in the next general election campaign. But he believes that Jayasekera still has much to prove as a serious heavyweight politician.” the source further said.
Chief Minister Jaysekara, on being asked if he had launched any campaign to be the Prime Ministerial candidate, he said, “no.”
Speaking to Colombo Telegraph he said that if he is given a chance to lead the next parliamentary election campaign he would do great. “I’m willing to take any challenge to make the party win. I have displayed my capabilities in the past” he said when contacted today.
“To win we need to regain the minority votes. I have high level of support among ethnic minority voters” he further said.