President Maithripala Sirisena shot down the Prime Ministerial 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.
The discussion between the two groups was based on five major issues including the party’s stance on the PM candidate, the dissolution of local government bodies, the future of the United People’s Freedom Alliance, ongoing investigations into bribery and corruption allegations and giving nominations to MPs supporting former President Rajapaksa.
In a statement issued following the meeting, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said discussions between Sirisena and Rajapaksa were cordial.