The UPFA rebels supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa have decided to sever their ties with the SLFP and contest as a separate front at the upcoming Local Government elections.
A large group of SLFP MP’s too have already initiated discussions to join the front under the blessings of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Rebel group member Vasudeva Nanayakkara said political parties in the UPFA other than the SLFP had held a discussion with former President Rajapaksa on Sunday about forming a common front to defeat the UNP and SLFP coalition.
Nanayakkara said that over 30 SLFP MP’s too participated indicating a major split within the party led by President Maithripala Sirisena.
He said that the new front has the blessings of Rajapaksa and added that soon the stance of the new front will be announced to the public.
Nanayakkara said that the SLFP’ers who have formed a so-called national government with the UNP have not expressed any desire to beat the Ranil Wickremesinghe led UNP at the upcoming polls.
The UPFA MP pointed out that during the last general election too the grassroots SLFP voters had defeated those who conspired against Rajapaksa and added that in future too the new alliance was confident of getting their support.
Nanayakkara went on to say that voters who are burdened with the spiraling cost of living and disappointed with the broken promises of the so-called Yahapalana government was clamouring for a change.
He said that as a section of the SLFP, including its new leaders have tied the knot with UNP the grassroots level members of the party were waiting for an alternative led by Rajapkasa.
He said that the new front will fill this vacuum and will come forward as a viable alternative to the UNP ands SLFP coalition.
Meanwhile the new SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said that the UPFA will win the forthcoming polls under the leadership of Sirisena.
Dissanayake refuted claims that there was a split in the party and added that the UPFA consisting the SLFP and other affiliated parties will contest under one banner.