Welgama Takes Strong Stand Against MR: Says Presidential Candidacy Should Not Be Kept Within One Family

In a strong response to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Joint Opposition MP Kumara Welgama, a former minister of the Rajapaksa administration, said the former President should not talk about fielding a member of his own family as the next Presidential candidate.

Speaking to media today, Welgama, a senior member of the Joint Opposition, said there was no need for family bandyism within the pro-Rajapaksa camp.

In an interview with an Indian newspaper yesterday, Rajapaksa said a member of his family would contest the Presidential election in 2 020. This statement apparently had earned the ire of one of the most senior members of the Rajapaksa camp.

“It was this family bandyism that cost Rajapaksa his job in 2015. The former President placed his family above everything else and as a result, many ministers were disheartened. Even those who supported overtly were unhappy with the state of affairs in the government. Our party belongs to everyone and only one family cannot claim ownership to presidential candidacy,” Welgama said.

He added that there were many seniors in the party – outside the family circle of the former President – who were suitable to run for presidency.

“We have to understand that J.R Jayawardena did not willingly give presidential candidacy to his successor, Ranasinghe Premadasa. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga did not willingly nominate Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Presidential candidate,” Welgama said, indicating that the Joint Opposition would not be hesitant to take a strong stand if Rajapaksa attempted to keep Presidential candidacy within his own family.

“We should not forget that Maithripala Sirisena left our government and contested against us he was not given the rightful place within the administration,” he said.

“Is former President trying to create another Sirisena?” Welgama asked.

 

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