SLFP's Announcement On Presidential Candidate Is A Desperate Move To Increase Bargaining Power During Discussions With SLPP

September 06, 2019

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party's announcement on their Presidential candidate last night was primarily aimed at increasing their bargaining power during negotiations with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), informed political sources said.

SLFP Media Spokesman Weerakumara Dissanayake said General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera had informed the Elections Commission that they would field their own candidate at the upcoming Presidential election.

"There is no necessity to inform the Elections Commission of the party's presidential candidate. It's an internal decision. It is up to the party to make a public announcement on the matter and then hand over the nomination papers to the Elections Commission," a senior political spokesman said.

"With every passing day, the SLFP is coming to the realization that the party is becoming a political non-entity. The announcement can be only be interpreted as a desperate message to the SLPP."

"The SLFP believes that this statement will rattle the SLPP prompting them to offer a deal to President Maithripala Sirisena," he added. The SLFP is under the assumption that its Presidential candidate can eat into the voter base of the SLPP.

However, it is now clear that the SLPP has not taken the SLFP's threat seriously.

"It will be interesting to see who the SLFP will nominate as its presidential candidate. Seems like there may still be some uncertainty within the party. Hope #SriLanka President Sirisena won’t end up finding out through the newspapers," MP Namal Rajapaksa said.

"The SLPP's line of thinking is delusional. If the SLFP fields a candidate at the Presidential election the party will only embarrass itself. What they do not realize that the Presidential election offers a binary choice to many people and the large majority of 1.5 million voters who voted for the SLFP will not remain with the party at a Presidential election," a source familiar with the decision-making process of the SLPP said.

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